Intercity buses have long had a dubitable reputation among the American public. Quite unfairly, we might add, as they have become one of the most efficient modes of transportation in the 21st century.
Still, when most Americans think about buses, school trips or overcrowded public transportation might be the first thing that jumps to mind. If you look at the rest of the world, however, it’s a whole different story.
The international bus industry is full with tinkerer and innovators continuously unveiling groundbreaking projects to improve the appeal of buses to the masses and even find sustainable solutions.
Bristol’s “Organic” Bus
There is a catch, though: riding Bristol’s “organic bus” will be the most scatological bus ride you’ll ever experience as it runs on bio methane – a gas produced from garbage and human waste. We might be stretching it a bit but that very well could be the reason why the locals dubbed it the “poo bus”.
It just goes to show that, despite the usual climate-change denier, humans will go to great lengths to save the planet.
Last year, Spanish citizens were encouraged by environmental authorities to publicly air their views on the countries’ environmental issues and how to solve them. One of the winning concepts of “Muévete en Verde“, as the project was called, was taking advantage of Madrid’s bus rooftops to be used as gardens. The concept authors claim that, since plants absorb a noticeable amount of CO2, the environmental impact of buses will be greatly improved.
Bus stops should also be transformed into small urban gardens and the project itself will be realized on line 27 and 34 in Madrid which drive past the countless sights of the Spanish capital.
Also worth noting: the roof gardens will automatically reduce the temperature on-board by about three degrees, which will surely be a welcome addition in heatwave-prone Madrid.
China’s Straddling Bus
In 2010, a much-debated project was introduced in China: the TEB-1. It didn’t only sound like ED-209, its look also reminisced of 80s sci-fi movies. It is basically a tunnel on wheels and was conceived as a solution to traffic jams.
Just picture a tunnel that’s moving toward you instead of the other way around… carrying passengers. If this doesn’t sound like something pulled out of Total Recall (the one with Arnie), we don’t know what does.
It is a novel design and concept. And it definitely gets brownie points in the things-straight-from-the-80s category. It also seemed to be functional until its official testing phase in August 2016. The results? The odds are you’ll still catch this marvel on the big screen rather than on a road near you, as the tunnel bus’s development has been halted until further notice.
Coming to America?
We don’t know for sure when or if America is going to catch up to the rest of the world but we’re sure Los Angeles commuters wouldn’t mind getting rid of their world-leading traffic jams while riding a manure-powered Total Recall straddling bus with a garden on the rooftop. We’d buy that for a dollar!