So far, China gets the award for this summer’s most remarkable transit idea. In fact, thousands have remarked on it already! It’s a bus on stilts, straddling two lanes of traffic. The idea is an inventive solution to the expensive problem of building a subway or an elevated train, though it may not be entirely practical.
As a driver I would have some reservations about going underneath a massive moving vehicle, even if it were plodding along as slowly as the bus in this video. Take a look. It’s not all so strange and alien. You can see that it passes over yellow and black croquet wickets, the passengers appear to be New Yorkers, and just like the Central Corridor Light Rail simulation, this bus glides on a cloud of cheesy, generic music.
As I understand the idea, China’s Straddle Bus runs on a fixed guide way, so its movements are predictable, but asking me to deal with this in traffic is like challenging me to play Mr. Spock in a game of 3-D chess. Honestly, I have enough trouble with Right Turn On Red. What will I do with a bus overhead?
Some have been quick to condemn this idea as ludicrous. Given the changes we have seen, technological, political and otherwise, I hesitate to reject any new idea immediately. I prefer to wait until it is an old idea, so my opinion may go unnoticed.
And based on what I saw of the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, I’d rather not bet against Chinese people finding a way to get the job done. If the drive train on the Straddle Bus doesn’t work as planned, they can always have a phalanx of coordinated drummers carry the vehicle to its destination.
Have you ever mistakenly declared “that will never happen”?