A road-straddling, elevated bus that allows cars to pass underneath was demonstrated on some specially constructed test track in Qinhuangdao, North China's Hebei province last week. Soon after reports emerged that the test had been conducted without approval and might be part of an illicit financing scheme. Thepaper.cn commented:
If the elevated bus was nothing but a harmless joke, we could laugh at it. The problem is, it might be a means to defraud people. According to reports, a person-to-person financial management company called Huayingkailai is selling loans, supposedly to raise money for the project, with annual interest rates as high as 12 percent.
The company that developed the bus has not responded yet, but if all the reports are true, they are suspected of breaking the law by issuing such high-interest loans, and conducting tests on the road without official permission.
Thus the financial regulators and traffic police should investigate whether these reports are true or not, to protect people's interests.
Some are defending the bus and the team that created it, saying the media is too critical of innovations. But let's make clear what we mean by innovation. By innovation, we mean breakthroughs made on careful design and thorough studies. One expert after another has found fault with the elevated bus.
More importantly, the bus may involve financial fraud, and that must be investigated.