China built a giant traffic-straddling bus. We have questions.

Courtesy of Vox. David Roberts

The concept for the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) has been floating around since engineer Song Youzhou, chair of the delightfully named Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., introduced it at a high-tech Beijing expo in 2010.

The idea is to lift buses up above traffic so they are not slowed by it and don’t make it worse — to be grade-separated and thus faster than bus rapid transit (BRT), but cheaper than a subway. The concept actually goes all the way back to 1969, when a similarly shaped Boston-to-New York “Landliner” was proposed. It was outfitted with cruise-like amenities and a giant claw to pick up and swallow city buses! Lloyd Alter tells that kooky story over on Treehugger.

Anyway, in 2010, there was much talk of a TEB prototype in China, but it never came to anything. Last year, Song Youzhou introduced a new and improved version, with a cool scale model, at another high-tech expo.

Read more here.

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