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Testing facilities of straddling bus project reportedly to be torn down soon

(Xinhua)    09:19, August 25, 2016

The transit elevated bus TEB-1 is on road test in Qinhuangdao, North China's Hebei Province, Aug 2, 2016. [Photo: Xinhua]

It looks like there's trouble ahead for China's innovative straddling bus project. It's being reported that the test track could be torn up by the end of this month.

According to Xinhua news agency, Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) Technology Co. Ltd signed an agreement with Qinghuangdao's Beidaihe District government in April this year. The agreement, which expires on August 31, requires the company to solely manage investment and the construction of the project. It is also obliged to return the 300-meter section of road used for the test to its original state.

The high-profile test gained a huge amount of media coverage when it was conducted on August 2, and it was reported at the time that the first straddling bus would roll off the assembly line in 2017.

Although there have been no progress reports since then, there have been a huge number of media reports questioning the project's feasibility financially, commercially and in terms of technology.

Some reports revealed that the project was approved by local governments as a tourism project not as a transportation project. Others suggest that there are suspicions that it was a scam to raise money illegally. Despite a large amount of private funding it's still nowhere near becoming a reality. There are also questions over the project's technological feasibility.

A transport official with the National Development and Reform Commission said there was a real danger that the bus could tip over because of its weight and high center of gravity, and, as the space underneath is only two meters high, many vehicles would actually be unable to drive underneath it. As a result, many media outlets have taken the view that it was nothing but a publicity stunt!

The Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) was promoted as a way to help ease traffic congestion. Its design features an elevated passenger compartment that straddles the road below, allowing vehicles to pass underneath.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Editor: Yuan Can,Bianji)

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