It was in August 2016 when the whole world was somewhat amazed to see pictures of a weird, but mammoth, elevated bus that glided above the traffic on ground allowing vehicles to flow under it unimpeded. The Transit Elevated Bus also known as TEB which is already sitting idle on its tracks, is now under the scanner over its fundraising drive. The electrically powered 300-passenger bus, aimed at solving China’s dense traffic load, has largely been in stealth mode since its launch. According to a report published by Quartz, the futuristic ‘car-eating’ bus is now being permanently removed from operation. Last week, the local authorities have announced to even remove the 300-meter tracks the bus runs on by the end of this month, the report added.
The Beijing police has recently announced that it had started an investigation into the company that owns the TEB for alleged illegal fundraiser. More than 30 people who were associated with an online financing platform, Huaying Kailai, have been held in the case so far, said Beijing’s Dongcheng district police bureau in a statement (link in Chinese) on microblogging site Weibo.
The statement further added that the police is working to recover funds from the firm, and has also advised TEB investors to report their complaints to local police stations. Among those detained in connection with the case is Chief Executive of TEB Technology Development, Bai Zhiming. TEB Technology Development is a Beijing-based company that purchased the patent for the elevated bus, the report added further.
Bai describes himself as ‘the father of the TEB’ on Weibo. Soon after the Qinghuangdao government announced the demolition of TEB tracks, Bai told Chinese media that the bus would now be relocated to another Chinese city.
Even the industry experts have questioned the practicality and safety risks the TEB brings to regular traffic. Earlier, several state media houses raised concerns over the investment offering of the bus which was sold as a private fund with a starting price of $15,000 and offered an annualised return of 12 per cent, said the report. Quartz further the Southern Metropolis Daily saying that around 72 individual investors have filed lawsuits against Bai and Huaying Kailai for private lending disputes.