Post by Steven Dale
Engadget reported yesterday that Shenzhen Huashi Future Car-Parking Equipment will begin construction of a 186 km long Tunnel Bus track at year’s end.
That’s right: Tunnel Bus. Not Bus Tunnel. Tunnel Bus. I won’t try and explain it because . . . well . . . it’s a bus . . . and a . . . tunnel . . . just watch the video:
(China Hush has a full translation for those who’re interested.)
What’s surprising about this is that it’s not a proposal. This is actually going to be built. This is both truly exciting and terrifying all at the same time. Exciting to see an alternative transit strategy actually get built, terrifying because it is so far outside the mainstream, it’s almost impossible to imagine it working.
Will it work? Who knows. Such a thing has never been tried before and actually makes the idea of CPT and Urban Gondolas seem rational and sane by comparison.
I’m not going to pass judgement on this yet because there’s really no point; it could be a masterstroke, it could be a disaster. I’m no fortune teller. There are, however, a few questions I have:
- Will humans actually want to drive under this or will they avoid it like the plague?
- When an accident eventually occurs underneath the bus (and an accident will occur sometime), isn’t the accident going to be exponentially more catastrophic for both drivers and riders of the Tunnel Bus?
- How does the Tunnel Bus contend with intersections and turns? In essence, this is nothing more than a (very) clever right-of-way workaround. It doesn’t, however, appear to alleviate the intersection and turning issue which is at the core of all right-of-way problems.
- When drivers are underneath the Tunnel Bus, how do they see road signs, stop lights and turning signals?
- When can I buy a ticket?
Big thanks to Marielle for sending me the link!
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