I wrote about Anhai’s Soon-To-Be-Extinct “Taxis” awhile back, but now it seems we won’t have to hoof it all the way across town when July 1st comes.

The government here has already started phasing in a new low-cost transportation system. No, not a monorail (“low cost,” I sez), but a small “shuttle bus” system with vehicles that look like what you might ride around in for a tour of Universal Studios:

The cost per ride is still fairly low, and it’s a bit slower–you have to wait for one to show up along a regular route (instead of hail a now ubiquitous “Anhai Taxi”) and then stop a few times en route to wherever you’re going for other riders to get on and off. But they’re a heckuvalot safer. You can see more, too, making them an decent option for just touring around town to see what’s what.

The view from inside a cramped “Anhai Taxi,” on the other hand, typically looks like this:

Of course in the new vehicles, foreigners are more visible than in an Anhai taxi, but riding in these with (1) a whole bunch of people on the streets who (2) are all looking your way, you sort of feel like the grand marshal in a parade. At least I did. I just started waving to everyone like I was running for re-election or something, and lots of them started waving back.