The future of Transit Elevated Bus(TEB)
Transit elevated bus or a Transit Explore Bus (TEB) ， also known as stradding bus， or 3D Express Coach，was selected by Times Magazine as one of the 50 Best Inventions of the Year 2010. It has a two high but thin legs, spanned over two lanes, riding over two rails laid on the edges of two lanes, and has a passenger compartment of height over 2.0m and under 4m so that most of usual vehicle under 7 seats can ride underneath, while most of overpass with passable height 4.5m won’t be an obstacle to its riding. Electrically powered TEB can accommodate max 1200persons, travels generally at 40km/hr which is faster than the average speed of normal buses at about 10-20kms/hr. The biggest advantage is it won’t occupy roadway resource during its riding, and loading and unloading at bus stop, except that the vehicles like bus, van, truck and other special vehicles over 2 meters have to go through other lane once need to pass over the TEB. Of course, when the TEB turns, any vehicle riding underneath shall have to wait till it finishes the turning.
Compared to underground train, TEB doesn't have to excavate the earth, therefore can save cost by about 85% and construction period by 90% as well, as per the estimate of its inventor Song Youzhou. One TEB can replace 40 conventional buses, potentially saving 860 tons of fuel and avoiding 2,640 tons of carbon emissions that those 40 buses would produce in a year, in addition that it can ease the traffic jam considerably.
Looks cool，isn’t it?
However it is under severe suspect for its safety, and its possible impact to the current traffic system. Despite of that, the R&D team of TEB still managed to built up a prototype for testing in no days.
BET No 1 nearly done
Inside of the BET carriage，broad and cozy!
Driver room equipped with screen and various of switches
Metal fabricated BET bus frame
I believe the dream will realize
1st The traffic jam is getting more and more severe, and TEB is a nice solution, compared to BRT, Subway, light rail, normal buses, TEB has a smart design to take usage of the unused space over passenger cars and below overpass, no need to excavate, no need to build bridges, only requires at least three lanes so as to leave one for those vehicles more than 2 meters to surpass.
2nd So-called impact to the exit traffic system would one day disappear once people accustom it. Any potential safety concern can be solved by continual improving on technology and/or traffic management.
3rd The technical challenges TEB is facing look not so major, all worries raised by far are nothing substantially far human being to solve, after all it is not as complex as subway, nor as high speed railway.
Let’s be prepared to applaud for its success.