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Shenyang teacher pursues patent for same-sex buses
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A man in northeast China has spent 2,300 yuan (about 315 U.S. dollars), two-thirds of his monthly pay, seeking to patent his idea for separate-sex rush hour buses, which he believes can help solve "unhappy phenomena" like sexual harassment.

Liu Zhenguo, 57, who hails from Shenyang city, Liaoning Province, said he got the idea from his five years studying bus routes. His investigation convinced him that rush-hour bus rides were "nightmares" for women forced into close contact with male commuters. The middle school teacher, who has spent 35 years as a bus commuter, interviewed more than 100 people in busy downtown areas. He said his idea was widely applauded, especially by women.

But not everyone saw any benefit to sex-segregated buses. Xiao Yu, 30, a male engineer, said it was an absurd idea that would do nothing to solve a bigger problem. "It is of no benefit to ease traffic jams," he said.

Wei Youwei, an official at the provincial legislature, said that Li's suggestion had some theoretical value but would be hard to implement.

Li remains confident. "I wish I take the men-only bus before I retire," he said. He has eight years left to fulfill his goal.

(Xinhua News Agency, December 11, 2007)

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