B.R.T. (Bus Rapid Tunnel?) in China

Like a giant urban hovercraft sucking up traffic in its wake.


Do you hate waiting behind a bus as it loads and unloads? Well, friend, does China have the craziest solution for you! A Chinese company is looking to build buses so big cars can drive right under them, which will ease congestion. The company is serious about it, too.

Being developed by the Shenzhen Huashi Future Car-Parking Equipment company, the buses are currently planned for Beijing’s Mentougou district, where tracks on the road will make sure they stay straight as cars drive under them — and they drive over cars. Passengers get on and off at elevated stations, as the bus/trolley/what-have-you are so tall.

Interesting, but left unanswered is the question of how to keep cars in their lane.

(thanks Matt)

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010 at 11:01 am and is filed under Cities, Commuting, Congestion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

7 Responses to “B.R.T. (Bus Rapid Tunnel?) in China”

  1. Brad Templeton Says:

    Interesting idea for the robocar world, though, as such vehicles could accurately drive over one another. Of course, there is pretty low need for buses in such a world since small single person vehicles are more efficient and more flexible.

    The big issue is stability. To be that tall you get less stable unless you are also very wide, defeating the point. Though one could consider a bus lane which is extra wide, like 12 feet wide, with a 10′ car lane down the middle, which human car drivers are able to manage. Or even a bus that is 20 feet wide with two cars lanes under it, which would be a very spacious and comfortable bus, though it would have higher drag.

  2. fred_dot_u Says:

    This sort of thing isn’t really new, though. I recall seeing cartoon cars extending wheels on a regular basis so the driver could get over traffic. Sometimes the wheels sprouted springs to bounce over other obstacles. When brought to the light of day, it still seems cartoonish.

  3. Barry Childress Says:

    I wounder how intersections or on/off ramps would be handled.

  4. Biks Says:

    If you look at the video you can see that it’s more like a huge streetcar than a bus. Instead of building a separate track with a usual connected pair of rails they put the rails on both sides of two car lanes and put a huge rail car on it with its wheels on high stilts. You can also see that they are, of course, aware of all possible problems including emergency evacuation.

    If you see the current bus lanes in the video filled with buses bumber to bumper that might be a feasible but nevertheless challenging solution to a growing mass transit problem on streets with no space for separate rail tracks.

    BTW, another comparable solution for adding mass transit with less space was build more than a hundred years ago in Wuppertal, Germany. See .

  5. fred_dot_u Says:

    After viewing the image more intently, I see that it’s an intra-city transportation system without using up more real estate. As a cyclist, I’d enjoy very much to travel under one of those monsters, or to have one pass overhead on my commutes.

  6. Brad Templeton Says:

    The difference from this and an elevated train is an elevated train needs elevated track. This can be expensive to build and permanently blocks the view, and is often opposed by neighbours for various reasons. Noise is also elevated and travels farther.

    This plan calls for a fairly expensive “bus” on stilts over rail wheels. Presumably the special buses cost less than putting in an elevated line though that’s hard to say. However, they have less visual impact.

  7. fred_dot_u Says:

    Such a system would make cycling in the rain a more interesting experience, although the cyclist would have to stop where the transit stops, unless one could catch the next one ahead.

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