China to Test Bus That Glides Over Roadways Later This Year

Cities need you. Support Next City and have your gift matched.Donate

China to Test Bus That Glides Over Roadways Later This Year

A bus and light rail mashup, the Transit Elevated Bus straddles existing roadways, letting cars pass beneath.

The Transit Elevated Bus (rendering above) carries passengers over traffic on existing roadways. (Credit: China TBS via YouTube)

A bus that straddles existing roadways, allowing cars to pass beneath while over 1,000 bus riders glide above, will be launched in China later this year, reports Rush Lane. The futuristic Transit Elevated Bus, which runs on electricity supplied by rails embedded on either side of the road, is really more like a cross between bus and light rail. Because it requires virtually no real estate, it’s being touted as a cheaper, more effective way to reduce traffic congestion.

“With a carrying capacity of 1,200 people at a time, the TEB has the same functions as the subway while its cost of construction is less than one-fifth that of the subway,” said Bai Zhiming, engineer in charge of the TEB project, in an interview with CCTV News.

Though the idea has been tossed around for the past six years, last week, a small working model of the system was showcased at the China Beijing International High-Tech Expo, where it was announced that a pilot will be launched later this year in Qinhuangdao City. Zhiming said construction could be finished in one year.

A 2012 rendering of the project (the first video below) shows passengers boarding the bus via an elevator from a station above the bus, and evacuating via retractable slides in case of emergency. See the model in action and the interview with Zhiming in the second video below.

Jen Kinney is a freelance writer and documentary photographer. Her work has also appeared in Philadelphia Magazine, High Country News online, and the Anchorage Press. She is currently a student of radio production at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies. See her work at

Follow Jen .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Tags: public transportationbuseschina

Next City App Never Miss A StoryDownload our app ×

You've reached your monthly limit of three free stories.

This is not a paywall. Become a free or sustaining member to continue reading.

  • Read unlimited stories each month
  • Our email newsletter
  • Webinars and ebooks in one click
  • Our Solutions of the Year magazine
  • Support solutions journalism and preserve access to all readers who work to liberate cities

Join 830 other sustainers such as:

  • Miguel at $5/Month
  • Anonymous in St. Louis, MO at $5/Month
  • Zac at $5/Month

Already a member? Log in here. U.S. donations are tax-deductible minus the value of thank-you gifts. Questions? Learn more about our membership options.

or pay by credit card:

All members are automatically signed-up to our email newsletter. You can unsubscribe with one-click at any time.

  • Donate $20 or $5/Month

    The 21 Best Solutions of 2021 special edition magazine

  • Donate $40 or $10/Month

    Brave New Home by Diana Lind