Controversial 'Batie' superbus to be removed

Updated 2017-06-22 15:51:21 Global Times

The 300-meter test drive track for the controversial Transit Elevated Bus (TEB) project, also known as 'Batie', will be removed by the end of June, a local official said on Wednesday.

Batie, the superbus will be moved to a parking lot near the test site, according to a report by chinanews.com published on Wednesday, which cited an unnamed local official from Beidaihe district of Qinhuangdao, North China's Hebei Province, where the test drive was implemented.

Batie, described as a 'revolution' in Chinese transportation, straddles two traffic lanes, allowing cars to pass underneath, and stands about 2 meters above the road.

The 300-meter test drive built in July 2016 was used for the trial operations of Batie, the unnamed official told chinanews.com. After the short-time testing operation, TEB Technology Development Co, the vehicle's manufacturer, dismissed their employees and suspended the operation, said the official.

Media reports said Batie made trial ¬operations in August 2016 in Qinhuangdao, but the project has since sparked controversy due to the low feasibility of the bus design as well as investment behind the project.

"We have invited the Batie manufacturer to negotiate the issues [caused by the superbus] several times, but they just don't show up," said the official, noting that the test site has affected local transportation.

Local authorities have actively made the decision to remove the test drive, said the official.

A TEB employee, surnamed Zeng, who helped manufacture Batie, was delegated the responsibility of moving the bus to a parking lot, said the official, noting that Beidaihe district authorities will be the ones in charge of removing the 300-meter test drive track and repairing the road.

The project is actually run by Beijing-based online peer-to-peer lending platform, Huaying Kailai, which has been accused of raising money illegally from the public, according to media reports, further fueling the controversy surrounding the superbus debacle.

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