January 24, 2011
China's proposed megabus
Check out the Chinese megabus: Also referred to as a mega-straddle bus, it will straddle the road allowing it to pass over the normal road traffic on China’s busy city streets. The buses will be 6 meters (18 feet) wide and 4.5 meters (13.5 feet) high which means they'll take up two road lanes, while still being low enough to get under most of the cities overpasses.
Each of these mega-buses will carry up to 1,200 passengers while blanketing other commuters. They will be electric powered, using a relay charging system that would recharge the bus as it is traveling by maintaining contact with at least one high-power electrical conductor that makes contact with the roof of the bus. The mega-bus either be on a railway style system (similar to trolly cars) or equipped with laser sensing cameras using regular tires following a painted line. The cost savings of this opposed to underground methods are over 90%.
The Chinese are serious about rolling this project out. The Mentougou district of Beijing laid out 186 km of tracks at the end of 2010 for a pilot program. If all goes according to plan, mega-buses will make an appearance in the many megacities right across China. And the good news is that it’s expected to save up to 860 tons of fuel per year, and reducing 2,640 tons of carbon emissions.