3D Fast Bus Is Taking A Long Time Coming- Like 40 Years

Six months ago Mike wrote about China's '3D Fast Bus' that Straddles the Road So Cars Can Drive Under. Now, Mike Elgan complains at the Raw Feed that it was all vaporware:

Back in early August, Engadget and many other outlets covered a proposed project in China called the "3D Express Coach." Engadget reported hopeful construction targets as fact. They wrote: "Huashi will commence building its first 186km of track at year's end." Did they? I haven't seen any indication of that. Not a peep even from the Chinese media.

But these things take some time to gestate. In fact, the 3D express coach was originally proposed in 1969 as the Landliner, to run between Boston and New York. It was Craig Hodgetts and TreeHugger favourite Lester Walker's "Immodest Proposal" for redesigning New York.

According to New York Magazine,

The Bos-Wash Landliner rides on nearly friction free air cushion bearkings at 200miles per hour. The landliner will be zooming only 16 feet over your head if you are driving along the freeway. The idea of using the freeway is based on two premises: 1) The states already own the land, and 2) by choosing to span the highways, the designers were able tow ork with a machine 60 feet wide, wide enough to build the speeding pleasure palaces they envisioned to replace the ordinary dreary commute.

Interior plan of the Landliner, with theatre, gymnasium, restaurants, snack bars, ballrooms, conference rooms and observation decks.

Interestingly, Hodgetts and Walker envisioned another idea that has since resurfaced, the train that never stops.

The Landliner never stops; it both bus and landliner are travelling at 60 mile per hour, their speeds locked together by computer; then a great claw descends from the landliner to "swallow" the bus. Once inside, passengers disembark and enjoy the facilities. Since the buses circle a city picking up commuters, driving the car to the station and leaving it all day will be a thing of the past.

Hodgetts still thinks that the idea has potential. He told Curbed LA in November:

"This could be the time to start opening people's minds for [exploration] in public transportation....Today, he calls the publication of the Chinese system "a surprising turn of events," and says he's glad his old idea is getting exposure. "We would hope that it might find some support among various transport agencies here in the US," he says. As for a copyrighting the idea, once an idea has been published, it can't be copyrighted, according to Hodgetts. "I like it being in the public domain," he says. "Someone can come along and expand on it.

In the meantime, Mike at the Raw Feed should relax. As Mal said to Shepherd Book in Serenity: "That's a long wait for a train don't come."

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Tags: China | Transportation | Wayback Machine

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