The Chinese straddling bus gave new hope, perhaps a promise to overcome the woes of traffic jams in China. The high-profile transit elevated bus would supposedly glide above the traffic with ease. Many thought it to be a quick fix transport solution to the overcrowded cities of the Chinese metropolitans.
The Brakes Applied to Chinese Straddling Bus
However, it seems the Chinese straddling bus has arrived at its last stop. If media reports are to be believed, the workers are already dismantling the facilitating structures. The workers will soon remove the test track in Qinhuangdao.
Why did they need Chinese straddling bus?
One-third of the entire world’s big cities exist in China. On a list of 200 cities, Beijing ranks 19th most congested city in the world. Taipei ranks even higher at 13th, being the most crowded city in China.
The increase in congestion as per the study doubles the commute time. It becomes challenging for commuters to move from one point to another in rush hours. The public transport system of China as per a research report by Research Gate had a lot of problems. The disproportionate investment and wrong priorities could not solve the problems of the Chinese transport system. The lack of proper land usage and no public transportation planning resulted in more problems.
There is an increase in car culture over the last decade. The ownership of the car is more than a mode of transportation. It is a matter of pride for the Chinese to have a car. However, the Chinese government is working to discourage the use of automobiles.
The car ownership frenzy has led to over millions of cars all over China. Statistics from different websites vary in the total number of cars in China. However, estimates suggest between 180 to 210 million cars right now in China. By the end of 2015, more than thirty-five cities in China had over one million cars each. These alarming statistics exhibit the kind of pressure on Chinese transport system to somehow pull out a trick that would work.
Stumbling Blocks to Chinese Straddling Bus
- The company named TED misled the investors into falsely believing in its technology as per many Chinese media website. However, the technology is far from complete.
- Old investors got robbed of their money, according to Huan Qiu (a Chinese website). Most of them had their pensions invested in the Chinese straddling bus venture. Fake promises of 14% annual return roped in many old timers.
- Despite getting featured (still there) in the Time Magazine as among “The 50 Best Inventions of 2010”, the invention had to overcome a lot of technical problems. It did not become evident before the test runs that the elevated Chinese bus would have difficulties in navigating curvy roads or fitting under footbridges.
- Many critics now say that the Chinese elevated bus cannot turn around corners.
- Some argue that the bus will not be able to carry its weight or the weight of the passengers. They question the ability of the battery to last longer.
- Then, there is the question if the local authorities did give go-ahead of the project.
- The bus cannot accommodate higher vehicles which cannot pass under its belly.
- One of the buses for initial test runs has been abandoned on the street in North China. The bus is sitting idle only adding to the traffic congestion. Locals are complaining about its troubling presence.
- It also becomes a lot more frustrating for the people who gave $15 million earlier this year to invest into this venture via crowdsourcing.
Wait, Is There Still A Hope?
Some other media reports suggest that the company behind the elevated Chinese bus may be serious about its launch. It may think of starting the bus service by the mid of the next year. However, the company did not give any official word on its plans. However, transport experts remain skeptical if such a project would ever become the much-awaited miracle for overcoming Chinese transportation industry challenges.