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China's monstrous drive-thru bus
Could a system of giant "car-straddling" buses be a cheap way to cure heavy traffic woes?
 
Is this the future of commuter rail?
Is this the future of commuter rail?

In an attempt to ease Beijing's heavily-congested traffic, the city will begin testing giant "car-straddling" public buses, built to allow two lanes of cars to drive underneath its massive passenger compartment. Standing 14-feet tall and 20-feet wide, the energy-saving gargantuan vehicles can carry between 1,200 and 1,400 passengers at a top speed of 37 mph, and are much more efficient to produce than a new subway line. Should U.S. cities adopt the behemoth buses? This "cunning project" actually "makes a lot of sense," says Richard Lai in Engadget. The buses will "make use of the space between regular-size cars and bridges, thus saving construction costs as well as minimizing congestion." Personally, says Robert Quigley in Geekosystem, I'm a little wary about the "radar scanning system" that's supposed to warn the cars inside the bus if they're getting too close to its wheels: "Sounds like a recipe for trouble." Watch the buses in action:

 

 

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