China is usually looked upon with skepticism by the global community and environmentalists since it's a country that plays one of the most important rules in determining the future of global warming.
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This is due to a combination of its immense size and population and the fact that the wealth of its citizens is increasing. But while China's efforts to curb emissions is under a microscope, they are responsible for one of the most recent innovative, and potentially revolutionary, public transport creations in the form of its Transit Explore Bus. Read on to find out more:
What Exactly is It?
The Transit Explore Bus is something straight out of science fiction. Designed by a company based out of Beijing (with the same name as the bus), it's being designed as a way to fix China's traffic problems, save people money, and also to reduce carbon emissions.
The dimensions of the Transit Explore Bus will be 72 feet long and 25 feet wide, though they might expand these dimensions (specifically the length) in the future. It'll also be able to hold a maximum of 300 passengers at a time, featuring 18 seats on each aisle row.
What makes it special, however, is that it will be able to travel the road on two lanes on a special track at up to 40 miles per hour. Cars that are below 7 feet in height will be able to travel directly below the Transit Explore Bus. This means that it can be placed on regular roads, in which a special bus lane does not have to be designed, and traffic congestion, in theory, can be significantly reduced since the Transit Explore Bus can simply travel over vehicles.
The Supposed Benefits.
The benefits of the Transit Explore Bus, if it ever becomes road-ready, are truly significant. Here are just some of them.
- It'll take the place of around 40 public transportation buses.
- Yearly fuel consumption can be cut by approximately 800 tons.
- Yearly carbon emissions can be cut by approximately 2,500 tons.
- It runs on electricity and is much cleaner than existing public transport.
- It's a more viable solution to China's traffic problem since it avoids having to create an underground subway system.
- Traffic congestion and the reliability of cars that many Chinese have can be greatly reduced.
Despite its revolutionary promise, there are some criticisms about the Transit Explore Bus. First, the fact that it can only travel above cars that have a maximum height of 7 feet presents some logistical issues. For example, what if it encounters a bus? Even if buses or certain vehicles exceed that height are required to travel on other separate lanes, what will happen if they accidentally make a mistake and travel on the wrong lane?
The second criticism is that, despite claims by its designer, Song Youzhou, that it would be a viable option on regular roads, there are many who believe that this is years and years away. In August, a workable model was finally tested in the Chinese city of Qinhuangdao. Special tracks were put in place on a closed road, and people boarded it through a platform. Under these conditions, it worked perfectly, but it hasn't been tested yet on a real road, which presents a whole new set of challenges and dangers.
Nonetheless, regardless of any criticisms that people might have against it, the Transit Explore Bus is the type of forward-thinking innovation that can change the future of transportation!