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Transportation Technology

The Bus That Rides Above Traffic 371

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the that's-not-gonna-work dept.
An anonymous reader writes "China is the new tech king. They're developing a new, two-lane bus system that travels over traffic below. It's claimed to cost 10% of a subway system and use 30% less energy than current bus technologies." This one has been boggling my brain. I can't see how this is a good idea or safe. But it sure is awesome.
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The Bus That Rides Above Traffic

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  • by _0rm_ (1638559) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:24AM (#33125124) Journal
    Countries can still one-up China by designing a bus that can leverage existing roads.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    From the sketches it appears the buses use a rail on one side to help guide them, this is probably the biggest failure point. All it will take is someone crashing into the rail to cause a delay for the bus until it can be repaired. Seems like they would be better off just building an elevated road for buses only. My first though was that the buses would just use rails like a train that were set to be flush with the road so cars could easily change lanes. Only problem there would be debris de-railing them. T

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IICV (652597)

      Yeah I'm not sure how this will interact with the way the Chinese drive. My wife has been there for business before, and she says that while Chinese people are generally better drivers than people here in the states, they have to be because the streets are like a giant game of no-contact bumper cars. People basically just do whatever the hell they want.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        I was with you until you said "no-contact". Now I don't believe your wife has ever been to China.

      • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @12:36PM (#33126454) Journal
        > People basically just do whatever the hell they want.

        Therefore they're not better drivers. And I think the statistics do indicate that drivers in China are worse than those in the US.

        As for anecdotal evidence:

        1) A friend of mine has a chinese wife. When he was visiting her relatives in China, he had the opportunity to get into the driver's seat and started adjusting the rearview mirror. His wife's relatives at the back asked what he was doing, and it seems they were unclear on the concept of the rear view mirror, and they used it more as a vanity mirror :).

        2) Another friend of mine visited China and his taxi driver drove the wrong way around the roundabout just because it was a shorter distance.

        3) When my brother went to China, his van driver drove on the wrong side of the road for a significant period till oncoming traffic almost hit them - then the van driver swerved to the correct side. What bothered my brother a lot was that the driver actually looked scared by the incident.

        4) I personally know people who have gone to china and not come back alive because of traffic accidents.

        In contrast I do not hear of such problems from friends or relatives going to USA, UK or Australia. I have had friends who had problems with "black ice" in the UK, fortunately nonfatal, but that's a different thing.
      • by sexconker (1179573) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @12:55PM (#33126902)

        Horse. Shit.

        And I have proof.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QESfEd180rQ [youtube.com]

    • by the_fat_kid (1094399) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:36AM (#33125338)

      The best solution would be to let everyone telecommute and invest in laying fiber for greater bandwidth.

      That would be a wonderful solution if nobody MADE any thing.
      you know those nasty, dirty people who produce everything you own.
      I have not been able to find a way to run my cabinet shop from my desk. I'll be damned if I don't have to keep traveling to the shop to cut things and assemble things and those darned customers think that we should deliver and install too.
      please crawl back under your bridge now.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        If 90% of the office workers could telecommute and you removed them from the roads, wouldn't that alleviate much of the congestion in the first place? Assuming a mixed load of white and blue collar commuters, of course?
        • by vlm (69642)

          If 90% of the office workers could telecommute and you removed them from the roads, wouldn't that alleviate much of the congestion in the first place? Assuming a mixed load of white and blue collar commuters, of course?

          They've already moved to India, but there's still congestion. Next step, this train thing?

      • by rubycodez (864176) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:50AM (#33125542)

        sure, a country should make things and the people who do can commute to work. But that's still would leave a huge chunk of the population who could work from anywhere. we're wasting time and fuel being on the roads, only 5% of days at most would I physically need to be present at work or at client.

      • by metlin (258108)

        Some of us like the social interaction - thankyouverymuch.

      • by Jeng (926980)

        One way to improve things would be to have staggered shifts. Having everyone arrive at the same time along with everyone leaving at the same time creates traffic jams.

        Now in a place that makes things that gets difficult, but not impossible. You just need a reasonable amount of shift overlap with different departments starting/ending their shift at different times than other departments.

        • If anything, the places I've worked building things are a lot better at that than the office jobs I've had. My first blue-collar job would let people work basically any hours they liked. One guy would come in at 2am, then leave at 10am. Another guy would get in at 4pm and stay until midnight. Some people would work night shift (and be a pain in the ass when we went out on the weekends.)

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Radtoo (1646729)
        Not at all. Many jobs will still be location-specific, and many will still drive - but it could be far less than now.

        There is not only many jobs that actually don't need physical presence at all, such as most forms of banking transactions and many services.

        We also gave the opportunity to serve more people with the same car at the same time for many common tasks, especially shopping. Let us think of a food store. Food can be delivered once or twice a day from the warehouse, to the whole street and surrou
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Mr Bubble (14652)

        I have not been able to find a way to run my cabinet shop from my desk

        3D Printing, my friend. Go to IKEA's Web site, download the plans to your 3D printer, and print.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Paracelcus (151056)

        NOTHING, I own that I have bought in the last twenty years is/was/has been made wholly or mostly in the USA, with the exception of service, food and desktop support almost everybody in the USA could telecommute at least several times a week.

    • by jgagnon (1663075)

      Seems like any accident could leave debris in the tracks. I can't imagine that would end well. It would also be very easy to sabotage.

      • by camperdave (969942) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:47AM (#33125492) Journal
        You've got the same problem with streetcars and trolleys. Never seems to slow them down much.
      • by Danse (1026)

        Seems like any accident could leave debris in the tracks. I can't imagine that would end well. It would also be very easy to sabotage.

        Light rail systems have been around in various forms for over a century now. I'm sure they're aware of the potential issues of them. I'm curious what would happen if a vehicle under the bus were to veer into the the side. How strong is the support structure, and could it withstand multiple vehicle impacts if there were to be a serious accident under it. I could see the thing freaking out some drivers.

      • by MBGMorden (803437)

        It also seems like having a giant structure zoom across/around your car could be rather distracting. Not to the level that every time it occurs there will be a pile up, but I'd wager that there will be a significant increase in accidents with that cause. And given your example of accident debris getting on the tracks, you have a bad little cycle.

        Overall, while it might be only a fraction of the cost of a subway system, I don't think this idea will stand the test of time nearly as well.

    • by Danse (1026)

      From the sketches it appears the buses use a rail on one side to help guide them, this is probably the biggest failure point. All it will take is someone crashing into the rail to cause a delay for the bus until it can be repaired. Seems like they would be better off just building an elevated road for buses only. My first though was that the buses would just use rails like a train that were set to be flush with the road so cars could easily change lanes. Only problem there would be debris de-railing them. The best solution would be to let everyone telecommute and invest in laying fiber for greater bandwidth. ;)

      Building elevated roads seems like it would cost many many times what building elevated buses and street-level rails would cost. That said, I'm all in favor of telecommuting as much as possible.

    • by xaxa (988988)

      My first though was that the buses would just use rails like a train that were set to be flush with the road so cars could easily change lanes.

      That's called a tramline/tramway, and the vehicles trams. (In the US I think they call them streetcars.) I assume they keep the gap for the wheel flange clean, but I don't know how.

      However, if cars can drive over the rails you aren't going to avoid severe congestion -- someone will always be stopped in the tram's path.

      For 0.01% of the cost I suggest the Chinese paint one lane of the road red and mark it "Buses Only".

      • mmm at least in the UK trams don't tend to share the road with cars. Sure they cross roads and sometimes run along them for short sections but for the most part they run along dedicated routes.

        • by xaxa (988988)

          The ones in the UK made of reclaimed railway line have much less street-running than normal, but most others (worldwide) are on-road most of the time. Of course, when there's space the trams have their own bit of land not shared with cars -- often in the median.

          (If you're not running at street level for most of the time it's more light rail than tram, IMO.)

        • by ray-auch (454705)

          Not sure that's correct.

          Nottingham tram is dedicated only at the ends / outskirts - all the central part is on road and shared with cars.

          Sheffield I don't know as well, but it definitely has some long stretches along shared roads.

          Manchester I believe runs on roads in the centre (but has converted old rail lines - on the outskirts).

          Edinburgh has definitely dug up a road, but whether it will ever get trams running on it is anyones guess.

          What other major ones are there ?

    • From the sketches it appears the buses use a rail on one side to help guide them, this is probably the biggest failure point. All it will take is someone crashing into the rail to cause a delay for the bus until it can be repaired. Seems like they would be better off just building an elevated road for buses only. My first though was that the buses would just use rails like a train that were set to be flush with the road so cars could easily change lanes. Only problem there would be debris de-railing them. T

  • Trucks? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Danimoth (852665) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:26AM (#33125166)

    Do they have trucks in that area? Wouldn't that pose a minor issue?

    • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:35AM (#33125320) Journal

      Do they have trucks in that area? Wouldn't that pose a minor issue?

      I don't speak Chinese but from watching the video it appears that there is a warning signal when a truck is detected as approaching from behind or in front of the bus. In addition to this there are black and yellow poles that apparently act as truck detractors like the upside down U-shaped hoops in lawn croquet. The bus would fit over these perfectly but a truck in this same section of traffic would hit one of these before endangering the bus. It appears that this would designate which lanes are okay for trucks (however they then also pose a bit of a traffic obstacle where they come down in between lanes).

      My bigger concern is turning and how the sections bend and twist between themselves (as seen at around 5:30 in the video). Is this on a rail or not? Because I could see that being potentially problematic and accident prone if drivers fail to yield to you. I'm interested that they're already planning on deploying this as I think there are things to iron out yet.

      • "Is this on a rail or not?"

        Yes. At least, from what I understand through the translated text, the bus could run both on a rail (for maximum energy efficiency) and also like a bus, using video tracking technology to follow white lines on the pavement. Although, I think I'd prefer a human driver instead.

        • by blueZ3 (744446)

          ...using video tracking technology to follow white lines on the pavement.

          So this wouldn't work in the U.S. where some drunk teenager bent on revenge over an imagined slight is bound to reroute the white line to their former-BFF's house.

          • by Qzukk (229616)

            Or where the government is too cheap to paint white lines more frequently than once a century.

        • by Yuan-Lung (582630)

          "Is this on a rail or not?"

          Yes. At least, from what I understand through the translated text, the bus could run both on a rail (for maximum energy efficiency) and also like a bus, using video tracking technology to follow white lines on the pavement. Although, I think I'd prefer a human driver instead.

          Actually, according to the video in TFA, there is a human driver.

      • Well, judging by truck drivers here in the states trying to drive under bridges, I wonder how many lawn croquet hoops are going to be taken down daily by miscalculating truck drivers.

        There is at least one municipality in the US that bought busses nearly 2x the length of regular ones, with an accordion section in the middle, and ran them on regular roads. There must be some similar engineering feat at play here. Not speaking Mandarin or Cantonese, I'll have to take it on faith that they've addressed the
        • There is a translation in the source article (it took me a while to find it). Damn blogs that masquerade the actual content.

          Here is the translation:

          Translation:

          What you can see from the video is traffic jams, what you can hear is noise, and there is also invisible air pollution. At present, there are mainly 4 types of public transits in China: subway, light-rail train, BRT, and normal bus. They have advantages and disadvantages, for example, subway costs a lot and takes long time to build; BRT takes up road

      • by xaxa (988988)

        My bigger concern is turning and how the sections bend and twist between themselves (as seen at around 5:30 in the video). Is this on a rail or not?

        Articulated tram [wikipedia.org]. Similar technology also works for buses [wikipedia.org], subway trains [wikipedia.org] and normal trains [flickr.com] (some of those are internal pictures).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by sam0737 (648914)

        I can read Chinese...well I mean I am a Chinese that RTA and let me do the translation for you.
        Their answer is to have traffic light system that will allow the bus to turn in the intersection while stopping traffic that will be going straight through.
        Also as you can see in the simulation, there are 4 lanes (In fact a lot of major local roads in Beijing are 4 lanes per direction, so does the beltway).

        I wonder if you want to change lane from the inner two to the outer two...you gotta make the decision fast be

  • Congestion? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:28AM (#33125182)

    Couldn't you get trapped under a bus when there's congestion and end up missing your destination?

  • Very cool, and while the video seems to touch on it and explain the system (don't understand Chinese), I'm still worried about the whole cars passing underneath it and tall trucks getting told to move to the side. The buses would need to be super communicative to avoid any kind of collisions.

    Also not sure how much infrastructure would need to be modified to accommodate the buses, apparently they need two lanes and quite a bit of clearance that might currently be blocked by power lines and the like. I'd lov

    • by Rivalz (1431453)

      I dont like the idea at all. When one gets derailed what in gods name is going to take it away for repairs? All it takes is one idiot with a kayak or something mounted to the roof of his vehicle to cause a traffic jam. And what about exits and side streets? Couldn't they just build a separate rail system next to the road or are they too cramped for space? And what happens to traffic when one of these is knocked off the rail? I would love to see what they would have that could haul that thing away from traff

  • I just saw the concept, and I must say. "DO NOT WANT!"

  • Looks cool, but... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by R.Mo_Robert (737913) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:32AM (#33125250)

    This looks cool, but I have to wonder how practical it is. First, you'd have to design all your roads and bridges to accommodate it, but second, you'd have issues with things like turning traffic (don't forget to look for a giant bus over your head or coming from behind before you make that turn!) and possibly even pedestrians, although I'm sure they'll have a clever solution like not putting it right next to the sidewalk.

    Just thinking of how things are on my bike sometimes, though, the turning traffic was the first thing that came to my mind.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      you'd have issues with things like turning traffic

      From what I can see in the video (it's in Chinese but just judging from the graphics...) they seem to have thought of that. These mega-busses would be in the left-most lanes, and if they need to turn at an intersection, the lights at that intersection go red in all directions. The mega-bus then has the right of way to make a wide turn, cutting across many lanes safely because everyone is stopped.

      I don't know if this is a good solution, mind you. First, the mega-bus has to be able to communicate-with/cont

      • by xaxa (988988)

        These mega-busses would be in the left-most lanes, and if they need to turn at an intersection, the lights at that intersection go red in all directions. The mega-bus then has the right of way to make a wide turn, cutting across many lanes safely because everyone is stopped.

        That's pretty much how trams work in every city I've seen -- where the tram needs to move across a junction and can't keep to the standard lane of traffic other traffic is stopped. (With the tram waiting, if necessary). The same system controls the points (switches).

        (Also, the last two large cities I visited, both in Europe, were laying new tramlines.)

    • by scamper_22 (1073470) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:44AM (#33125438)

      I think the use of the word 'bus' is problematic here.

      I think of it more as a substitute for light rail.

      I don't see it being too useful for new developments, but I could definitely see it being useful in areas where you can't just add another lane for busses or put light rail on its own. A lot of our cities are built up.

      So the alternative is either bore underground with an expensive subway, go overhead with an expensive skytrain (like vancouver), or do something like this. I'm idealizing a bit here just from the video. But if the only infrastructure needed in the guide rail... it could definitely be cheaper.

      Safety wise... no doubt there are issues. I'm especially worried about drivers thinking they are going to miss their turn while being stuck under the bus. They might end up doing some stupid things. I really dont see trucks swerving out of the way like in the video. They would probably either be content to stay behind the bus or go the next lane gradullay.

    • by unix1 (1667411)

      It may be useful for congested central areas with no trucks, or at least 3 lanes where small trucks will only stay in the right lane. It looks more like a tram and not a bus. But is it really "better" than a tram?

      What about:

      - cars slowing down, and congesting traffic behind them, in order to get out of under the bus to change lanes, park, turn, etc.? This could easily cause more congestion than a bus
      - cars accelerating to pass the bus and do the above would also be dangerous
      - cars getting stuck (because of

    • by sam0737 (648914) <sam@cho[ ]i.com ['wch' in gap]> on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @12:41PM (#33126578)

      I RTFA and the video.
      It's sounds easier to upgrade then building subway.
      In the video, the presenter said either rail on the level could be embedded (like light rail) to save energy, or have the bus run on wheel and follow solid white line painted on the road.

      Energy are solved when the bus travels under the charge poles attached to light poles, as well as charging the super-capacitor at each station (BTW they are running super-capacitor bus in the Expo, Shanghai).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by robi2106 (464558)

      It is much easier to imagine this product when you realize that China is still building its infrastructure and can do dang near anything it wants at this stage because the institutional inertia isn't present like it is in the rest of the developed world.

  • Ok, I've got a couple problems with this... First, if that bus wants to turn left/right, then I'd feel bad for anyone who's underneath that bus at the time. (Or likewise, if it's going straight, and you want to turn left/right while underneath.) Second, people drive like idiots. I can't imagine how much damage a car accident with this thing would do. Third, maintaining the tracks that these things run on has got to be expensive and/or difficult. I can imagine the amount of loose change, or little kid shoes

  • Seems like a good idea until you start imagining rush hour traffic.

    You're the driver of this "bus" and someone is stopped in between lanes as he's trying to merge/switch. But there is a long line of traffic and a bunch of people are switching. Now the "bus" is stopped waiting for the cars to clear the track. And the cars underneath it are unable to switch as well. Imagine a stalled vehicle or accident and now all cars underneath are now, stuck.

    If everything works flawlessly, great, but it seems it would

    • by Reziac (43301) *

      Which is why I only see this as practical for long straight runs, where it would move with traffic lights just like a car, and would not have to turn. Otherwise there's going to be serious confusion down below. And considering that "confused" was the kindest thing I can say about Chinese street traffic (at least per videos I've seen)...

  • According to that poorly photoshopped publicity image in the article, this system will only work if everyone owns an SUV or a supercar.
  • It's pretty amazing that they are going through some very similar issues, thinking they can engineer around things in a way only America had the audacity to try "back then".
  • Well, I for one like the the Beijing Subway. Line 10 goes between my house and my workplace, it is two yuan (US$0.30) to go anywhere on the extensive network, trains are clean and frequent and best of all: when you change lanes, you don't have to worry about it being on top of you with its support struts engulfing you from all sides like some monster, ready to shear you in half if you, um, well, behave like a Chinese driver.

    By definition a subway is under ground where you can just ignore it when you are no

  • Chinese driving (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Joehonkie (665142) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @11:47AM (#33125498) Homepage
    Chinese driving is not compatible with this idea. Chinese cities have some terrifying traffic behavior. Not that I think such a system would even be safe in the nicest town.
  • The design obviously requires at least 3 lane roads - two lanes for cars and small trucks where the bus goes, and one lane for taller vehicles. So many large cities are also old cities, with many narrow streets; certainly digging subway tunnels and establishing infrastructure is expensive, but employing this solution basically requires a pre-planned city with huge thoroughfares. The larger the street infrastructure, though, the less need you have for a bus that allows traffic to go underneath it.

    All this

    • Hard to say. Some of the renderings of the buses seem to show some sort of 'arms' sticking up out of the top of the buses, similar to some electric train designs I've seen which use such arms to get power from overhead wires/bars, so it might be powered that way. Alternatively, it looks like the 'buses' ride on some sort of rails, so they could possibly electrify the rails the way some electric passenger train systems are designed.

  • With state of the art video systems to record the most horrific wrecks in the world.
  • Since it rides on tracks in the street it's more like a trolly car (or LRV) on stilts than a bus. And because of the tracks drivers in cars on the street will know how to get of it's way, since the 'bus' has to follow the tracks.

  • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @12:01PM (#33125706) Journal

    The advantages of el trains and monorail systems is that they don't compete with street traffic. The advantage of buses is that they can pass each other -- one stalled car doesn't take the whole line down as currently happens with light rail. Elevated bus lanes seems to me the best of both worlds.

    Regarding earthquakes, elevated roadways are a mature technology. Nothing is 100% safe -- if you're looking for absolute safety we'd never build anything -- but built to today's standards, elevated roadways shouldn't be any less safe than any of the other tall structures hanging over you -- overpasses, skyscrapers, bridges, etc.

    Parenthetically, light rail on the street is the worst of both worlds. The disadvantages of light rail (the system moves as a whole or not at all) with the disadvantages of buses (the system competes with street traffic). When I was living in San Jose, cars being t-boned by light rail in low speed collisions was so common that people started scrawling under the ubiquitous "Taking 217 cars off the road" the addition "One car at a time".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by the phantom (107624)

      Elevated bus lanes seems to me the best of both worlds.

      I know, this is Slashdot, but I think that you need to read the article. Don't worry, it is only one paragraph, a few pictures, and a short embedded video which you can probably skip. They are not talking about elevated bus lanes, which would be a good idea---dedicated bus lanes in Seattle and LA seem to work pretty well in those cities, and taking it one step further sounds good to me. Instead, they are talking about building buses that are two lan

  • by Animats (122034) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @12:05PM (#33125762) Homepage

    That's a fascinating idea. Some postings claim that construction will start this year, but it seems unlikely. They'd have to build a prototype and a test track first, and if they had that, there would be pictures.

    The thing runs on road wheels, not tracks. Steering is at least semi-automated, to keep it properly positioned. It's electrically powered, with recharging as it passes through stations. The electrical contact mechanism for recharging, as drawn, is wildly optimistic about the difficulties of making contact with a moving vehicle. The illustrations show solar cells atop buses and stations, but no way can those yield enough power for this thing.

    They're vague about how the articulated bus corners. The trick with articulated buses is avoiding crush points. Real articulated buses have turntables and bellows at the joints, and they narrow at the join region. That's going to be tough with a vehicle this wide. Also, it's not at all clear how transitions to hills are handled. Does it articulate in pitch, too? All that can be made to work; San Francisco, of all places, has large articulated buses. The joints were troublesome at first, but the second generation of joints seems to work adequately.

    Also, on sharp turns, there had better not be cars underneath.

    The emergency evacuation slide system is a bit much, as is the roof entry stair system.

  • I can't see how this solution could possibly work as well as a small footprint elevated train similar to Bangkok's Skytrain. For this you need a 3m median for support pillars, and a slightly wider (4m?) median to support stations. Entrances and exits are stairways to the sidewalks.

    Skytrain type solutions have zero probability of having to stop for gridlocked cross traffic.

    I've not researched it, but I'm guessing that the only advantages of the megabus are lower upfront capital outlays (not TCO), and that

  • This is the original article: http://www.chinahush.com/2010/07/31/straddling-bus-a-cheaper-greener-and-faster-alternative-to-commute/ [chinahush.com]

    Unlike the one posted on the story, that adds nothing (except for stealing ads money from the actual source).

    It also includes a translation of the video.

  • Good idea and safe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 91degrees (207121)
    I can't see how this is a good idea or safe. But it sure is awesome.

    It's a good idea because it has huge capacity, causes minimal extra congestion, and the infrastructure is no more expensive than a tram system.

    As for safety, it doesn't seem substantially less safe than a double decker bus, and certainly safer than several dozen cars.
  • by FriendlyPrimate (461389) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @12:26PM (#33126198)
    Why stop with just one layer of buses. Why not create even larger "hyper-buses" that can travel over the smaller buses? Imagine the layers of buses you could create!
  • by grumpyman (849537) on Tuesday August 03, 2010 @01:37PM (#33127742)
    • it is greener than bus (noise and air)
    • idea is combination of bus rapid transit (BRT) and subway
    • common cities have height limit of 4.5-5 m: this new vehicle make use of the space between the regular cars and under bridge/overpass
    • the key benefit is reduce road use and the use of main road/conduits by 25-30%
    • average speed is 40km/hr
    • capacity is 1200 (each section is 300)!!!
    • another benefit is build-out time: 40km segment takes 1 year vs subway takes minimum 3 years
    • no need for bus terminal parking - just park at stations
    • two alternatives for build-out: one is to build 2 rails; one is no rail but using guiding system to make sure it follows the white-lines
    • using BRT idea of express in stopping general traffic at certain junction for the vehicle to pass first (e.g. turning)
    • passenger entrances/exits can be on 2 sides or on 'vehicle' roof top
    • powered by electricity and supplement by solar
    • recharged using 'taps' co-located at light post (relay)
    • each vehicle reduces use of gasoline 864 tons and green house gas 2640 tons (???)
    • 1st stage technology trial is completed (???)
    • a suburb/town near Bejing is planning 186km for this vehicle and start construction this year
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by JSBiff (87824)

      I think I *might* have an explanation for one of the points - I'm not sure if this is why you put (???) at the end of this point, but let's look at it:

      "each vehicle reduces use of gasoline 864 tons and green house gas 2640 tons"

      How can the amount of "green house gas" reduced be that much *greater* than the amount of gasoline reduction? I think it's because CO2 combines 1 Carbon from the fuel with 2 Oxygen from the atmosphere, (also, hydrogen in the fuel gets combined with oxygen to form water vapor, I think

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