China may have found an environmentally friendly way to save money while easing congestion on city roads, Engadget reports.
Instead of spending millions to widen roads, the Shenzhen Huashi Future Parking Equipment company is developing a "3D Express Coach" (also called a "three-dimensional fast bus") that will allow cars less than 2 meters high to travel underneath the upper level carrying passengers.
China Hush, which has nicknamed the project "Straddling Bus" has details:
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%.
According to Engadget, construction of the first 115 miles of track will begin in Beijing's Mentougou district at the end of 2010.
Check out our slideshow of the 3D Express Coach, then tell us what you think in the comments below.
For more information about this project, as well as a translation of the project's official unveiling by Song Youzhou, chairman of Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment, visit China Hush.