The transit elevated bus TEB-1 on a road test in Qinhuangdao, North China's Hebei Province, Aug 2, 2016. Photo: Xinhua
Though at the center of a lot of controversy and criticism, TEB Technology, the company that runs the experimental transit elevated bus TEB-1, has introduced souvenirs for sale and started to attract investment and cooperation, Beijing Youth Daily reported.
Some un-priced souvenirs, including commemorative coins, elevated bus models and stamps, were introduced on the company's website and began to accept orders. According to its promotion, there are gold commemorative coins weighing 7.76g and 3.11g respectively, and silver commemorative coins weighing 10g. Coins and stamps are imprinted with the shape or logo of the elevated bus.
The advertisement on the website says the souvenirs are of high investment value and collection value, and will preserve their value.
The company also started to attract investment and seek partners in the fields of bus making, infrastructure and auxiliary projects construction, and advertisements in and out of the futuristic bus and stations.
Previously, several media outlets reported that the company is suspected of running a peer-to-peer financing program that promised higher interest rates and faces the danger of running out of cash.
Many investors are reportedly asking to pull their money back, while Bai Zhiming, supervisor and shareholder of TEB Technology, reassured investors by promising to keep the project running.
However, according to a cooperation agreement signed between the government of Qinhuangdao, North China's Hebei province, and TEB Technology in April, Qinhuangdao will provide a road section for the company to have the first road test of the elevated bus until Aug 31 and the roads are required to be returned to their original state after the test.
Some media outlets thus predicted that the test road would be dismantled at the end of this month.
In response to public doubts, the company said,"The elevated bus, as it is still in the development phase, will choose cities that can live up to its running environment instead of being put into use in all cities."
"The elevated bus aims to solve traffic congestion and develop a three-dimensional transportation system. It is in conflict with the current transportation pattern to some degree, which calls for a solution and national support," the company said, adding that it is normal to see criticism when something new is introduced and it would not take it too much to heart.
The TEB bus was first unveiled by Chinese inventor Song Youzhou in 2010 and became a hot topic online after being displayed at the Beijing International High-tech Expo in May.
The double-decker vehicle, which measures 4.8 meters high and 7.8 meters wide, hit the road during a test drive in Qinhuangdao, North China's Hebei province on Aug 2. It holds passengers on its upper level and allows cars less than two meters high to pass underneath.
The tested prototype, powered by electricity, has a 22-meter-long carriage and can hold up to 300 passengers. The full four-compartment version of the bus will be 60 meters long and run at an average speed of 40km/h carrying 1,200 to 1,400 passengers, according to TEB Tech's website.
Amid applause for its innovation, the vehicle has sparked doubts about its feasibility and safety while many believed that it is too large and heavy for Chinese roads and can't let higher vehicles pass through, which will decrease road efficiency.