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Between Cambridge, Huntingdon and St Ives in the English county of Cambridgeshire, runs a special bus service over a special route that consist of two narrow concrete rails instead of a regular asphalt road. The buses travel with each set of wheels over the parallel rails, just like a train. The margin for error is narrow, yet the buses attain speeds of 90 km per hour (55 miles/h). The best part is, the driver doesn’t even hold the steering wheel.

Guided buses combine the elements of both bus and rail systems to achieve a new mode of transport that is faster than regular buses because they don’t have to share congested public roads, and cheaper than rails. The buses are fitted with special guide-wheels that engage the short vertical kerbs on either side of the guideway. These guide wheels push the steering mechanism of the bus, keeping it centered on the track. On a normal road, the bus behaves like a regular bus and is steered in the normal way.

o-bahn-busway-2

A guided bus on the O-Bahn Busway, Adelaide. Photo credit

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© Amusing Planet, 2015.


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