“Straddling” bus–a cheaper, greener and faster alternative to commute

| July 31st, 2010


A big concern on top of urban transportation planner’s mind is how to speed up the traffic: putting more buses on the road will jam the roads even worse and deteriorate the air; building more subway is costly and time consuming. Well, here is an cheaper, greener and fast alternative to lighten their mind up a bit: the straddling bus, first exhibited on the 13th Beijing International High-tech Expo in May this year. In the near future, the model is to be put into pilot use in Beijing’s Mentougou District (bjnews). (The official site of the high-tech expo put it as 3D fast bus, which I think is more confusing, for now I’ll just call it the straddling bus.)


Proposed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd, the model looks like a subway or light-rail train bestriding the road. It is 4-4.5 m high with two levels: passengers board on the upper level while other vehicles lower than 2 m can go through under. Powered by electricity and solar energy, the bus can speed up to 60 km/h carrying 1200-1400 passengers at a time without blocking other vehicles’ way. Also it costs about 500 million yuan to build the bus and a 40-km-long path for it, only 10% of building equivalent subway. It is said that the bus can reduce traffic jams by 20-30%.

Here is the presentation by Song Youzhou, chairman of  Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co., Ltd.


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 spaces and produces noises as well as pollution to the air. How to develop environmental-friendly public transportation? Straddling bus provides a solution. Let’s watch a demonstration.

The straddling bus combines the advantages of BRT, it is also a substitution for BRT and subway in the future. As you all know, the majority vehicle on the road is car, the shortest vehicle is also car. Normally our overpass is 4.5-5.5 m high. The highlight innovation of straddling bus is that it runs above car and under overpass. Its biggest strength is saving road spaces, efficient and high in capacity. It can reduce up to 25-30% traffic jams on main routes. Running at an average 40 km/h, it can take 1200 people at a time, which means 300 passengers per cart.

Another strength of straddling bus is its short construction life cycle: only 1 year to build 40 km. Whereas building 40-km subway will take 3 years at best. Also the straddling bus will not need the large parking lot that normal buses demand. It can park at its own stop without affecting the passage of cars. This is what the interior looks like: it has huge skylight that will eliminate passengers’ sense of depression when enter.

There are two parts in building the straddling bus. One is remodeling the road, the other is building station platforms. Two ways to remodel the road: we can go with laying rails on both sides of car lane, which save 30% energy; or we can paint two white lines on both sides and use auto-pilot technology in the bus, which will follow the lines and run stable.

There are also two ways in dealing with station platform. One is to load/unload through the sides; the other is using the built-in ladder so that passengers can go up and to the overpass through the ceiling door.

Straddling bus is completely powered by municipal electricity and solar energy system. In terms of electricity, the setting is called relay direct current electrification. The bus itself is electrical conductor, two rails built on top to allow the charging post to run along with the bus, the next charging post will be on the rails before the earlier one leaves, that is why we call it relay charging. It is new invention, not available yet in other places.

The set here is super capacitor, a device that can charge, discharge and store electricity quickly. The power it stores during the stop can support the bus till the next stop where another round of charging takes place, achieving zero toxic gas throughout the process.

About the ultrasonic waves put forth from the end of the bus, that is to keep those high cars or trucks away from entering the tunnel. Using laser ray to scan, cars get too close to the passage will activate the alarm on the bus end. Inside the bus, there are turning lights that indicate a the bus is intending to make a turn to warn the cars inside. Also radar scanning system is embedded on the walls to warn cars from getting too close to the bus wheels.

Nowadays many big cities have remodeled their traffic signaling system, to prioritize public buses, that is to say when a bus reaches a crossing, red light on the other side of the fork will turn on automatically to give buses the right of way. Our straddling bus can learn from this BRT method. The car can make the turn with the bus if that is the direction it wants to go too; if not, the red light will be on to stop the cars beneath while the bus take the turn.

The bus is 6 m in width and 4-4.5 m high. How will people get off the bus if an accident happens to such a huge bus? Here I introduce the most advanced escaping system in the world. In the case of fire or other emergencies, the escaping door will open automatically. I believe many of you have been on a plane. Planes are equipped with inflated ladder so people can slide down on it in emergency. I put the escaping concept into the straddling bus. It is the fastest way to escape.

The bus can save up to 860 ton of fuel per year, reducing 2,640 ton of carbon emission. Presently we have passed the first stage demonstration and will get through all of the technical invalidation by the end of August. Beijing’s Mentougou District is carrying out a eco-community project, it has already planned out 186 km for our straddling bus. Construction will begin at year end.

Thank you.

172 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. Chris P says:

    This looks like a great idea. My only question is how does it go round corners?

  2. Delmy Kar says:

    they want your money

  3. Mark says:

    Hey this was my idea? Straddling bus is cheaper because it straddles SUV’s and mates with them producing superior hybrid offspring. See official picture above.

  4. Joey says:

    What happens when a car hits this thing?

  5. trailboss says:

    Pure genius! What an idea.
    My best wishes for a successful venture gentlemen.


  6. alpha says:

    I love the idea, but I’m a little bit concerned with the increased accidents that would occur.

  7. Conan776 says:

    Well, sir, there’s nothing on earth
    Like a genuine,
    Bona fide,
    What’d I say?

    (only half kidding, it’s a pretty neat idea)

  8. Jere Guareno says:

    search online for true crime. There are some crazy, crazy stories out there that are true. It could be inspiration for your characters, especially if you pick and choose and combine the true crime stuff.

  9. lorena says:


  10. Tilahun says:

    This is great invention.

  11. Charles Cotsis says:

    I believe that is a very ingenius way of relieving the heavy traffic problem in China.
    My concern would be is how would they handle problems that would come in inclement weather. Such as heavy snow deposits, freezing rains that could cover sensing devices and not make good electrical contact, falling debris during heavy winds, etc, etc.
    I suppose like any other traffic, they could shut down until conditions are such that they can open traffic again after an all clear notice. Like in airports; there would be some delays.

  12. Theodore says:

    The problem with this bus is that it requires drivers to not freak out when this thing comes up from behind them. What if you are driving and caught under this bus and want to change lanes? I think the most important problem however, is just the concept of motion sickness. When I am riding a subway and am watching another subway car moving while I am moving, I feel a little bit dizzy and disoriented. Now if I was driving at one speed, and my peripheral vision was partially enveloped by a bus moving at another speed, I would surely feel at least a little disoriented. For a drunk driver so much the worse. Basically, it demands too much from drivers.

  13. User Manual says:

    Canon 300d customer textbook. I just purchased a occupied Canon 300D, as well as this didn’t avail via a manual. Is There anyplace I might might download it? Or possibly are a web site using tips?

  14. Hadi BITAR says:

    Dear Sir,

    are you intrested to presint your 3d bus to saudi goverment
    please let me know m we are ready to do,

    Hadi BITAR

  15. Peter says:

    Very cool idea!!! I like it!

  16. John says:

    They’ve got it all figured out over there in China. What would it look like if we put something like this in the North America, perhaps as an add-on to the congested Lincoln Tunnel in NYC? http://ideavein.com/2010/11/24/straddling-bus-lincoln-tunnel/

  17. Tucci says:

    Quite amazing,one of the top 50 of best innovations of the year by Times.

  18. andy says:

    i am proud that human innovation is alive somewhere.
    america didn’t invented the physics or mathematics…greeks, chinese, indians and at last europeans invented and did the basic research in those fields. we copied them-use them- and then we used human innovation to build the whole empire here in america…but finally it felt like it was all dying around…
    we should welcome innovation and shouldn’t be critical of people who are doing good for society.
    bravo china…way to go…soon, things will change and will come…human rights, peace and well-being of the whole world…democracy will follow till things will weigh somuch that the great empire of china will fall and some-one else will take its place.
    science has no boundaries and this is an example.
    good luck.

  19. naila says:

    hi ù
    that is really great
    xiexie nin

  20. Mr. F you in THa Bum says:

    RE:I H8 This!!-by Mr. Shinigaru aka( mr r)

  21. S13 says:

    We think it is a great idea. It would be awesome but people think when it turnes corners you will crash into the wall. Thanks Sunrise

  22. anush says:

    the idea is just mindblowing

  23. Yadav says:

    Yes………………………….It’s very cool

  24. mindbreaker says:

    I think this will make some drivers nervous and they will crash, but I do think the concept has potential. As it is, the accidents can be very deadly because if a car does run into it, the bus can push it into several other cars leading to chain reactions. There is very little room for other cars around the vehicle to adjust to get out of the way once things get crazy.
    The escape seems a bit silly. Who wants to jump out into traffic? Safer inside. Just have fire resistant bottom and the top openable to the air. It would cost less and be safer.
    It is also vulnerable to terrorists. They can drive a car bomb under it and detonate it killing everyone.

  25. Chad says:

    Hey all, I found your blog through Bing even while hunting for a related matter, your blog came up, it appears to be great. I’ve got saved it at my yahoo book mark

  26. kshitij parashar says:

    nice bus…….very advantageous in future

  27. amirul says:

    How to make right or left turn when under the bus?

  28. Ga Law says:

    I live in Jakarta-Indonesia. The traffic is damn crowded in the busy hours. I guess straddling bus is the best solution to overcome the traffic jams right away.
    Will somebody tell me the progress of straddling bus project?
    Has it been commercially operated in Beijing, California or whatever part of the world?

  29. Pradeep Vishnu Tendolkar says:

    I am very interested to see this bus project in working. Can someone tell me about the status of this project and the present development as on today?

  30. joony macau says:

    can i have a reserch paper of stardling bus services and related any…???

  31. Hey that’s great! haha, try that in our city in Seville and we give you all the support to work through administration obstacles 😉

  32. Rashid says:

    me and my friends made this working model project… owsomee

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