End of the road: China’s futuristic ‘straddling’ bus test site demolished
The Transit Elevated Bus – essentially a metro system that arches above cars – hit headlines last year after it was unveiled at a tech expo in Beijing. Referred to as the ‘straddling bus’, the 22-meter long (72ft), 4.2-meter high (14ft) rail vehicle was hailed as the future of transport.
Now, the project has been scrapped, according to China News Service. Work has reportedly begun to demolish the specially built testing site in Qinhuangdao City in north China's Hebei Province. This process is expected to be complete by the end of the month.
According to the state run news agency, the Beidaihe District government refused developer TEB Technology’s appeal to extend the land contract which is due to expire in July.
Workers were seen using electric breakers to dismantle and remove the test-track Wednesday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
The straddling Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) was first tested on the 300-meter-long track last August, although authorities told the state-run People’s Daily newspaper that they weren’t informed of the road tests.
The bus has been sitting idle since last October, sparking complaints from local residents that it’s become a traffic obstacle.
Doubts over the legitimacy of the project arose in August when Chinese state media reported that it was a scam to defraud investors.
Gust, a platform that connects entrepreneurs with hundreds of angel investor groups around the world, recorded that $300 million has been invested by TEB Technology in the project so far. TEB has also signed operation contracts in five cities across China.