Chinese city's straddling bus a 'tourism project'

BEIJING • A futuristic-looking bus touted as the solution to China's notorious traffic jams was being tested as a tourism project, local media has reported.

Last Tuesday's inaugural road test of the so-called straddling bus was approved by the local authorities as a tourism initiative and not for public transport, reported the Beijing Youth Daily.

The local authorities in the seaside city of Qinhuangdao, where the road test was held, said the bus, known as the Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), is for tourism rather than for public transport.

The road test was held on a 300m stretch of a dead-end highway near Beidaihe village, Mr Zhai Wen, head of the transport division of the municipal development and reform commission of Qinhuangdao, told China National Radio.

Beidaihe village is a popular tourist destination in northern China's Hebei province.

Following the road test, experts and netizens have cast doubts on the feasibility of the bus model, which has caught the attention of several Chinese cities and foreign countries.

According to the vehicle's designers, the electric-powered giant bus would arc over two lanes of traffic while allowing other vehicles to pass underneath.

Chinese media has also scrutinised the company behind the project, TEB Tech. The China Daily reported that the company has the same chairman as P2P asset management company Huayingkailai, a subordinate of the Huaying Group. Huaying's Nanjing branch was reportedly involved in illegal fund raising last year, a charge rejected by a Huaying spokesman.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2016, with the headline 'Chinese city's straddling bus a 'tourism project''. Print Edition | Subscribe