Will Transit Explore Bus became a public transport of the future?

Talks about this project has been going on since 2010, when the concept was presented. The innovative bus should solve two main problems – air pollution and congestion in metropolitan areas.

public transport of the future

The Transit Explore Bus (TEB) is designed as a portal that covers the roadway, creating the illusion of a tunnel, and allows the bus to pass over traffic jams. TEB covers two lanes at once, and cars pass under it. The bus portal, as well as the metro, provides massive transportation of passengers, however, unlike the metro, TEB is located not under, but above the roadbed. Also, compared to the metro, the construction of the system will cost 16% less, since there is no need to build tunnels and underground communications.

The length of the bus is 21 m, the width is about 8 m, and the height is 4.7 m. One module can carry up to 400 passengers, and a maximum of 4 modules can be connected. Only a direct route is suitable for this transport, since it cannot turn 90 degrees.

TEB is electrically powered and travels at a speed of 60 km/h. It is equipped with a set of batteries that can be charged while moving. The developers say the four-car system could replace 40 conventional buses and cut fuel consumption by 882 tons per year.

In August 2016, TEB passed the first tests in China, and the system proved its viability, although questions about the consistency of the design remained. The bus travels on special rails, so from a technical point of view it would be more correct to call it a train.

Although the height of the bus is almost 5 m, the space from the ground to the bottom of the hinged gantry is only 2.1 m. Therefore, the main requirement is that the height of vehicles passing under it should not exceed 2 m. An SUV or a car with a roof rack can get stuck under the structure. moreover, trucks should not leave on the track along which TEB is moving.

Here the first difficulty arises – a separate lane should be allocated for tall vehicles, and drivers should be effectively warned about where they can pass. Questions also arise with the sides of the portal. The prototype occupies two lanes and runs on rails built into the road. If a passenger car leaves the lane, it cannot do without dents and damage. This may require special separation structures to separate the traffic from the TEB.

public transport of the future

The developers have yet to create a system with which cars will enter and exit from under the portal. After all, you seem to drive into a tunnel, only it moves at the same time. Drivers will have to be very careful when changing lanes from one to another. In addition, TEB needs to learn how to warn drivers when they are approaching.

The height of the bus also poses additional challenges. At the stops, passengers are embarked and disembarked on special platforms, and if a vehicle breaks down or the batteries are discharged during the movement, several hundred passengers will be stuck at a height of almost 5 meters in the middle of the highway.

And the repair or evacuation of the bus to the depot requires special technical means and compliance with safety measures for personnel during high-altitude work. The depot for such vehicles should also be of considerable size, with appropriate high-rise equipment.

It is known that the tests of TEB were stopped, and the further fate of the project has not been decided. A portal bus is a fairly expensive form of transport – one TEB model costs about $ 4.5 million.

Railway magazine “Railway Supply”

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