When Traffic Snarls Up, China’s Street-Straddling Bus Zooms Above It All


Sustainability Problem

  • As the world’s population continues to shift from rural to urban areas even a mild interest in driving can create a traffic problem. In countries such as China, with over a billion people, this translates to hundreds of millions of cars clogging roadways.
  • Emissions from all this traffic (in addition to the heavy manufacturing that goes on in China) has led to some of the worst pollution in the world.


Summary of Transit Explore Bus

  • A Beijing company that is designing/testing track-based vehicles that are tall enough to let cars pass under, given they are under two meters tall.
  • The bus is two traffic lanes wide and can travel up 60 km per hour and carry as many as 1,400 passengers.
  • Has the same function as a subway, but costs only 16 percent of what a subway would cost and has a significantly shorter construction and manufacturing time.
  • It is powered by electricity and could replace up to 40 conventional buses, potentially saving up 800 tons of fuel annually and preventing 2,480 tons of carbon emissions.



  • Local Government
  • Urban and City Planners
  • Architects
  • Engineers
  • Commuters
  • General population



  • Full-scale model is currently being built in Changzhou, China and will be tested by August.
  • Based on how the test model goes several cities in China have expressed interest in this project.








4 thoughts on “When Traffic Snarls Up, China’s Street-Straddling Bus Zooms Above It All

  1. I was going to do this article but then I saw you did it! I think this is so awesome and wish it was already in place. I would definitely wonder if other cities could come up with something like this. In LA where the public transportation system in non-existent and the traffic is horrible, this type of technology would be useful. This could also be a major tourist attraction!


  2. Hi! I also saw this article a couple weeks ago, and I was concerned about how possible traffic collisions would be handled. From some mockups I’ve seen, it looks like the bus will have a special lane and will be guided through some kind of rails, thus diminishing the chances of collisions. Is this correct, as far as you know? Thanks!


  3. Thank you for posting this article. It is fascinating. As presented, the “straddling bus” would help solve many issues: carbon emission, traffic congestion, air and noise pollution, and ease transit problems, although it would still take years for China to reduce its pollution level.

    Besides improving air quality, other advantages of “straddling bus” are:
    • It will not need a large parking lot that normal buses demand.
    • It will use solar energy and municipal electricity.
    • Its manufacturing and construction time are much shorter than that for subway; therefore, cost less to construct.
    • It works like subways, but costs only 16 percent of what a subway would cost.

    The “straddling bus” is designed for high capacity and efficiency. It runs above cars and under overpass. Although, it is equipped with sensors as safety feature, to be aware of its height constraints, I am curious about how safe actually this bus would be especially when it is designed to carry a large number of commuters. End of August is anticipated for its technical validation while end of the year is for its start of construction. I am sure many are anxious like me to find out more.

    Air pollution is alarming in China and environmental friendly public transportation is much needed. Necessity is the mother of innovation but new technology would have to encourage China’s 1.4 billion people to change their behavior. That includes changing their attitudes toward air pollution and the desire to own a car.


  4. Hello , It also had interested me when I first read it few weeks ago. I think it is one of the futuristic and at the same time doable solutions. And Graceclin, thank you very much for detailed extra information. looking forward to see it on application. First thing came on my mind that it could cause some accidents at on going traffic as people could panic at first while bus is going over them 🙂 i mean i cant imagine how would it feel. Definetly ​looking forward for it!


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