China’s Road-Straddling Bus Has Been Blocking Traffic for Months
In May 2016 and again in August, we covered a road-straddling bus that promised to alleviate traffic in Chinese cities. If the futuristic transit plan seemed too good to be true, that’s because it probably was. As Shanghaiist reports, the test bus has been collecting dust on a city road for more than two months.
Over the summer, the Transit Elevated Bus or TEB took the media by storm when it completed its first test run on a 1000-foot track in Qinhuangdao, China. The demonstration was met with praise by many outlets, while others were less optimistic. A few days after the test, the BBC reported on doubts surrounding the project’s feasibility and the legitimacy of the company behind it. According to CNN Money, the whole thing may have been an elaborate publicity stunt funded by a peer-to-peer financing scheme. These type of lending programs aren’t strictly regulated in China, and they often lead to scams.
The situation isn’t looking any better for investors after a local reporter went to take a look at the old test site recently. TEB Technology had stated they would remove the track before their lease expired at the end of August, but the lease has since been renewed with the track and the 72-foot-long bus is still sitting undisturbed. Motorists in Qinhuangdao are now forced to maneuver around the awkward roadblock that was originally designed to help traffic flow smoothly.
TEB Technology has yet to give the official word on the state of their bus, but it’s shaping up to be more of a cautionary tale than a success story. In the meantime, we can dream of passenger drones, self-driving pods, and hyperloops when looking ahead to the transportation of the future.