Transit Elevated Bus China 3

Remember China’s Transit Elevated Bus (TEB), which recently underwent its first test run in Qinhuangdao last week? Well, according to local Chinese reports, the whole project could potentially be nothing more than a big scam.

First showcased during the 19th China Beijing International High-Tech Expo in May this year, the straddling train/bus (TEB-1) test unit measures 22 meters in length, 7.8 meters in width and stands at 4.8 meters tall. Although the first trial run of TEB-1 may appear to be “successful,” things aren’t as they appear.

For starters, the test wasn’t really a street test at all, according to CarNewsChina and the Xinhua News Agency. The TEB merely travelled down a 300-meter stretch of closed road, without the regular flow of traffic beneath it. Additionally, it’s unclear how the vehicle would turn or even accommodate vehicles that are over 2.1 meters tall (the maximum height of vehicles on the road in China is 4.2 to 4.5 meters).

Transit-Elevated-Bus-China-1

To make matters worse, though it may be called the Transit Elevated Bus, it isn’t even a bus as it runs on tracks, making it more of a train (as you can tell already). The station built for the pilot voyage was allegedly built in just two months, and featured poor workmanship, with the paint already peeling in certain areas.

Chinese state media outlets have claimed that the TEB project is actually a scam to obtain funds from investors. The project was funded by peer-to-peer (P2P) lending, where an online company matches potential investors with borrowers, promising a high interest return. P2P platforms operate in an unregulated grey area in China, with fraud being rampant in the sector.

However, the founders of the TEB project refuted such allegations and said the funds for the project comes from “private, individual investors.” It remains to be seen if the TEB project is a scam or a legitimate attempt at alleviating the traffic woes in the country.