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Ginormous Traffic-Swallowing Straddling Bus Coming to U.S.


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Overhead power lines, bridges and box trucks beware: The giant, lane-straddling bus Chinese engineers hope will someday conquer that country’s legendary traffic by swallowing it whole is one step closer to cruising over rush hours from Los Angeles to Boston.

The Straddling Bus is one part monorail, one part monster truck. As the incredibly awesome illustration above shows, the extra-wide, extra-tall bus straddles two lanes of traffic, allowing passenger cars and small trucks to pass underneath.

It’s the brainchild of Song Youzhou of Shenzhen, who announced yesterday the formation of a U.S. company that will develop business links stateside. U.S. Elevated High-Speed Bus (Group) is looking for manufacturers to build the vehicle and representatives to sell it.

“The word ‘revolutionary’ is so overused, but this new bus actually is revolutionary,” said company spokesman Mark Shieh. “Relative to the cost of a subway line or other rail transit, our bus delivers extraordinary value. Aside from the low cost, the time for construction is about one third that for a subway.”

The company plans to start work in China as soon as 2011. According to Song, the buses carry “hundreds” of passengers and will be powered by electricity with a little help from roof-mounted solar panels. Buses ride eight feet above traffic on rails or painted yellow lines outside of car-traffic lanes. They travel over traffic at speeds ranging from 25 to 50 mph and are sure to scare the bejeezus out of old ladies in Sebring convertibles.

“An ideal partner for us would be a RV, motor home, aircraft, train or bus manufacturer with production facilities in the U.S. who is looking to diversify,” said Shieh. “We hope to leverage not only their manufacturing capabilities, but also their domestic and export sales channels. In return, we’ll deliver the design and fully developed concept.”

Our first suggestion to the leadership team: Change the name. “Straddling” might be one of the last words we want to associate with public transportation. Our second suggestion: Pay for translation instead of suggesting that we view the Straddling Bus website with Google Translate, as it currently extols the virtues of the vehicle’s “Stereoscopic fast Palestinian” drivetrain.


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