China’s so-called straddling bus—more of an electricity-powered tram designed with an elevated chassis to allow cars to pass underneath—finally hit the streets for a trial run this week after years of existing as a concept.
One of these buses could replace 40 conventional buses, partly addressing the pressure on China’s roads and saving a great deal of road space.
Admittedly, there is still a distance to go before it’s cleared for mass use, if ever—questions have been raised about its funding model and feasibility in real-world traffic conditions.
But there is still a lesson for India here when it comes to the need for urban innovation.
Projected growth of car sales shows that the urban infrastructure problem many cities face, with road networks unable to handle the pressure, is likely to worsen.
Innovative thinking and focus on various public transport solutions is a must. Simply broadening roads and building more of them will not suffice.