Faced with increasing traffic congestion problems, China has revealed its plan to start trial operations by the end of this year in Beijing of an eco-friendly 'straddling bus' that can carry up to 1,400 passengers at once, and allow other vehicles to drive under its uplifted passenger compartment, a move that will significantly reduce traffic jams. The two bus legs leave a "tunnel", which is wide enough for two lanes of small or medium-sized vehicles to drive right through under the moving bus.
These buses will be powered by a combination of electricity and solar power derived from panels mounted on the roofs of the vehicles and at bus stops. Designed by a company in Shenzen, the vehicle could reduce traffic jams by 24 to 30 percent on main routes and are expected to replace up to 40 conventional buses, saving approximately 860 tons of fuel that 40 buses would consume annually, and preventing 2,640 tons of carbon emissions
Laser scanners will also be installed between the legs of the bus to ensure safety of vehicles driving under itand warning them to keep a safe distance. The bus will be fitted with an ultrasonic detector on its tail to measure the size of incoming vehicles and deny entry to the oversized.
Apart from being green and safe, these buses are also affordable. When the bus technology is mature, the price of one kilometer of straddle bus line is predicted to be about 50 million yuan ($7.3 million) - 10 percent of the cost of a subway.