With the globalization at its peak, the global cities are finding it difficult to match up with the increasing demand of transportation. This has led to an extensive research to develop an ideal mode of transport which will not only meet the demands of the people, but at the same time decrease the emission of green house gases. These researches gave birth to a master plan known as the straddling bus or 3D Bus. This concept of this bus was first brought into notice at the 13th Beijing International High-Tech Expo on May 2010. The ideal of this ideal bus is developed by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment and Co. Ltd; the model of this bus appears like a subway which runs on the road. The Straddling Bus or 3D Bus is about 4.5m above from the road and there are two levels, where the passengers can travel on the first level and the vehicles which are smaller than 2m can go below it.
An Overview of Straddling Bus- 3D Express Coach:
The straddling bus even known as the 3D express coach is powered by solar energy and electricity as well. Hence, it holds the average speed of about 60km/hr and has the ability to carry 1200-1400 passengers at once. The best thing is that, the bus does not block the pathway of other vehicle, thus decreases traffic congestion on the roads. However, the straddling bus can run only along a fixed route, designed as per the mechanism of the bus. The bus functions with the help of the two straddles that are present at its edges. The overall height of the straddling bus ranges from 4 to 4.5m which is 14.8 feet approx.
Passengers who are going to board the 3D express coach are going to gain the same experience as they could find in any other normal Double Decker bus. They have to first get into an alight, and travel to the platforms that are same height as the bus floor. From these platforms they can get into the bus, this is quite similar to that of an elevated railway station. As mentioned earlier the straddling bus has two charging options and they are Electricity and Solar Energy. If the straddling bus will be charged with the help of electricity then the roof of the buses can be connected with the electrical powering channels through overhead lines or any other electrical device. However, this can be very well supplemented with photovoltaic panels and large batteries capable of storing power for the straddling bus.
There are numerous amazing features that are associated with the straddling bus or 3D Bus and they are:
- The straddling bus will have a super sensitive alarm system which is going to warn those vehicle drivers that are going to travel too close to the bus. Along with that, it even signals other people or drivers on the road when it is about to function.
- There will be inflatable evacuation slides for safety purposes. These are the same feature that is even found in aircrafts.
- A perfected sensor will be installed in the exterior and posterior part of the straddling bus, to prevent it from colliding against any object or vehicle.
- A repeater traffic signal projector which will be essential for those vehicles that will be travelling underneath the straddling bus.
- There will even be animated light display which is allows the drivers to see the objects or vehicles that surround them under the straddling bus.
Proposed Trial of straddling bus -3D Bus:
The first proposal for the making of the Straddling Bus initiated by Shenzhen Hashi Future Parking Equipment and Co. Ltd clearly stated that the construction of this magic bus is going to cost about 500 million Yuan which is equivalent to about $74.5 US million dollars. This will be required for building the bus along with the 40km guideway or path for the bus. The cost required for the making of this bus is only 10% of that which is needed for creating a superficial subway. However, the construction of this straddling bus on the roads of China will decrease about 30-40% of traffic that is seen on the highways and other important roads of the city. Along with that, the Chairman of Shenzhen Hashi even guaranteed that they would need just one year for completing the building process of the straddling bus. Therefore, during 2010 a 165 km track was set for construction at the Mentougou District of Beijing. Along with that other city of China like Shijiazhuang, Wuhu of Herbei and Anhul Province respectively have applied for financing the building of the bus from the government.
Today in China there are about 4 main modes of transport and they are light rail, subway, buses and bus rapid transit (BRT). This 3D express coach is going to be an impressive alternative to BRT because BRT captures road spaces and even creates a lot of noise and air pollution. Hence, with this express coach China can have the ultimate transport system which has only the advantages of BRT.
Advantages of Straddling Bus - 3D Bus:
- Working module or construction of 3D Bus can be completed in one year for 40Km
- It is powered by renewable sources of energy like solar and electricity
- It does not occupy spaces on the road which drastically reduces traffic jams in global countries
- No parking space is needed for this bus as it can remain straddling on the air without affecting other public parking areas
- The interior of this straddling bus is just like any normal buses which decreases the fear of passengers who would travel on this bus.
- One straddling bus has the ability of replace about 40 conventional buses in one year
- Cost of making these buses is just 10% of what is used in the making of subways
- It can save 860 tons of fuel which is equivalent to 2,640 tons of carbon emission.
Disadvantages of Straddling Bus -3D Bus:
- Complex mechanisms involved in the making of this bus
- Though the concept was invented about four years back, yet there is no sign of such buses working in China yet.