Remember the Transit Elevated Bus Project in China? It is Declared a Scam

Police in Beijing are now looking into it.

In 2016, China shocked the world by demonstrating a mockup of what seems to be an ingenious solution to the worsening traffic in the country: an elevated bus which lets cars drive under it. The idea was conceived six years earlier but it was only in that year that it was materialized.

The concept is simple: it’s like a bus, but it goes above the regular cars on the streets and runs on tracks like a train. That way space is saved when transporting passengers.

Technically called the Transit Elevated Bus or TEB, this transportation system is able to handle 300 passengers in its 22-meter length and 7.8-meter width. It is 4.8 meters tall, only allowing cars less than two meters in height to drive under it.

Photo via South China Morning Post

But it appears that the demonstration in Hebei province’s Qinhuangdao city is all that there is for TEB, as Chinese authorities believe that the whole thing was a scam.

It all started when Jalopnik noticed how “extremely shoddy” it was up close, with the help of observations from their friends at Car News China. The suspicion arose when CNN sent its reporters to look into the matter, until they discovered that it was a “hulking eyesore” which causes traffic rather than shuttling passengers above it.

Local authorities decided to step in after much scrutiny on the company behind this supposedly incredible engineering feat. Police in Beijing are investigating the people behind TEB, checking whether they are illegally raising money through an online portal. This is after the government said that it planned to remove the 300-meter track the bus was supposed to run on by the end of July.

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Photo via South China Morning Post

Quartz broke the news that China suspects its “car-eating,” traffic-straddling bus is a total scam. It cited the statement of Beijing’s Dongcheng district police bureau on microblogging site Weibo that more than 30 people associated with Huaying Kailai have been held.

Huaying Kailai is an online financing platform that has been selling an investment product to raise money from individual investors to develop the bus.

The statement added that the police is working to recover funds from the firm, and advised TEB investors to report their complaints to local police stations.

Source: Quartz | Jalopnik

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Remember the Transit Elevated Bus Project in China? It is Declared a Scam

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