The Transit Elevated Bus, conceived to help China deal with its huge traffic problems, was recently turned into reality, but reports suggest that the contraption is nothing more than a scam.
The so-called “straddling bus” started trial runs in Qinhuangdao, a city in north-east China, two months after it was first showcased at the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo. But the test run conducted by Jinchuang Corp – the company responsible for the first-ever produced TEB – left many questions unanswered.
Firstly, the “test run” did not simulate real traffic conditions, as the TEB traveled about 300 meters, without mimicking real-life traffic conditions. Moreover, it turns out that authorities in Qinhuangdao city weren’t even aware of this event happening.
Not only that, but many questioned how the TEB would operate, mainly because of the height of the vehicles that can go under it. For starters, the bus – which is actually a train – can only clear vehicles measuring just 2.1-meters in height, while the height limit for vehicles on the road in China is 4.2-meters.
To make matters worse, Shanghaiist reports that a few media outlets claim that the TEB is a fraudulent peer to peer (P2P) investment project aimed at scamming investors. The Chinese government took severe action against this type of funding, and many government departments have refused to acknowledge their relationship with the project, including the municipal development and reform commission in Qinhuangdao and Shanghai Jiaotong University – contrary to what the developers have said about the project in the past.
Song Youzhou, the designer of TEB, has denied the allegations, insisting that his team has nothing to apologize for:
“We haven’t done anything wrong at all. The latest tests show that the bus design is entirely possible”, he told Sixth Tone.
Photo Credit: China Xinhua News