In this week's round-up, Chinese school children will soon be riding a bus that has a striking resemblance to the American yellow bus and Philadelphia city council tries to shake up the school bus riders.
In what seems like an homage to the well-known and loved yellow bus, Chinese bus manufacturer Zhengzhou Yutong Group Co., Ltd., is manufacturing a school bus model, the ZK6100DA, to schools in China. It was described as a "big-nose school bus" with a "classic western-style appearance" by one online newspaper.
The bus has already attracted the attention of the Qingdao municipal government, which plans to allocate special funding to buy the buses to "guarantee students' safety." According to the company Web site, the bus seats 52 students and two teachers, runs on a YC6J200-30 engine, and goes through 24 L/100km. Each seat, which is designed to be smaller than a city bus according to the common height of school children, also includes a seat belt.
In Philadelphia, some parents awoke to an alarming automated message concerning he 2011-2012 school year. Larry Mendte, a writer for Philadelphia Magazine, was not sure what the message was going to be about, since school was now officially out for the summer. The speaker, Sister Mary Helen Beirne of Norwood-Fontbonne Academy Head of Schools, informed parents that the Philadelphia School District was considering ending school bus service for all city students. This sparked an immediate responses, as many parents had not heard anything about this.
Although the city council recently voted to give the district additional funding, it had the right to decide whether to use it for school bus service or not. The council did vote to raise property taxes by 3.85 percent to do so, though, something that many residents were not happy about, since taxes were also raised last year.
Mayor Michael Nutter's solution, the "soda tax," was voted down. If implemented, the city would have added a two cent tax to any "sugary drink."