Low-floor buses start routes
Fifty more low-floor buses began operating in Taipei yesterday as part of the city’s ongoing effort to make its transportation network more accessible. The new buses will bring the total number of low-floor buses in the city to 721, the city’s Public Transportation Office said on Sunday. They will run on routes running between Jingmei Girls High School and Taipei Main Station, Dongyuan and Donghu, Dongyuan and Minsheng Community, and Linguang Community and Taipei Veterans General Hospital, it said. The city began promoting low-floor buses in 2007 for elderly passengers and disabled persons. They incorporate barrier-free design elements such as low floors, ramps and extra space inside to accommodate wheelchairs, the office said.
Volunteers head to Nepal
A group of volunteers left for Nepal on Sunday to help build an environmentally friendly medical center, including Kung Shu-chang (龔書章), head of the Graduate Institute of Architecture at National Chiao Tung University, and Chien Chih-ming (簡志明), a young architect who has experience volunteering in remote areas of Taiwan. The team, organized by the Landseed International Medical Group (LIMG), will build a medical center over a 30-day period, using locally available materials. The LIMG said the project would include a solar energy generating system and composting toilets. The center will provide medical care and health education, and will be an environmentally friendly facility that meets the needs of local residents, it said.
Saxophonists blow for record
Hundreds of saxophonists blew their horns at a carnival in Greater Taichung on Sunday to set a new world record for simultaneous saxophone playing, in a town famed in the sax fraternity as the center of the world for their beloved instrument. A group of 1,432 sax players from around the nation teamed up to perform the national anthem and a popular Taiwanese folk song at the two-day Houli Instruments Carnival that opened on Saturday at the Houli Horse Farm, the Greater Taichung Government said. Among the musicians gathered to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the most saxophone players performing at once was pop singer Ricky Hsiao (蕭煌奇). Taichung Mayor Jason Hu (胡志強) said he looks forward to seeing more than 10,000 musicians participating in similar events in the future. Houli District (后里) is known as “the home of the horn” thanks to its many, mostly family-owned instrument manufacturing businesses that provide instruments for some of the world’s biggest saxophone names.
Impaired players take second
A team of visually impaired baseball players finished second in the National Beep Baseball Association (NBBA) World Series held in Indianapolis, Indiana, after losing to a team from California 11-10 in the championship game on Saturday. “Taiwan Homerun” played well defensively and at the plate, but still could not overcome the West Coast Dawgs in the World Series finale. Despite the loss against a team that entered the game undefeated since 2009, Wang Chen-kuang, the head of the Taiwan branch of the US-headquartered NBBA, said it was the best game the team had ever played. More than 50 Taiwanese expatriates and overseas officials were on hand to support the team.