Straddling bus : a mass transit solution for Beijing

beijing hutong

I visited Beijing in 2007, the city was a big mess. The olympic sites were under construction.

Beijing regional city plan runs untill 2020. Beijing development strategy will end in 2050.

In order to develop the capital city, local government allowed «hutong» massive destructions. They are alleys (9 m or 10 yards) formed by lines of «siheyuan», traditional courtyard residences. Residential, exchange and meeting places, they are part of the Beijing urban setting.

Beijing rush development has been possible because of increasing chinese growth financial resources. 2008 Olympic games organisation made urban replacement faster.

Nowadays, Real estate developer keep on demolishing traditional areas to replace with malls and huge buildings

In chinese culture building break isnot surprising as long as the rebuild is possible. Nevertheless, they are loosing urban heritage and Beijing soul, 7 centuries old for some of them.

Seeing intellectual and local disputations, Government claim that the chinese strong growth requires quick and structural changes.

Traffic jam is a good example of that fast development. It has become a main issue for the city. According to IBM index, Beijing is the worst city for drivers tied with Mexcio and then comes Johannesburg. You have to know that there is 6 ringroads, only city in the world.

That generates a lot of inconveniences like air pollution. During the Olympic games, local autorithy established contraflow traffic that still goes.

An innovative public transport project is receiving my full attention : the straddling bus.

Straddling bus Beijing project

Straddling bus Beijing project, China (photo par innovcity)

Developed by the chinese company Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment Co, this futuristic and green way to commute, will be able to straddle the road in order to improve pekineses’ move.

The work has started since 2010 in Mentougou area in Beijing. The Straddling bus will be able to let go 6,5 feet (2 m) high cars underneath. 1200 to 1400 passengers could get on. The bus will work with electricity, a minimum for place as polluted as Beijing.

A similar idea was suggested for «le périphérique» (parisian ringroad) as part of the international consulting «Le Grand Pari(s)».

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