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“Helicopter parent” may not sound pleasant, but given the chance, most parents would probably prefer a vehicle to zoom (快速移动)little ones between school, football practice and piano lessons. Getting children where they need to go is a huge task and expense, especially in homes where both parents work. Hailing rides (专车服务)through firms like Uber and Lyft has made life more convenient for adults. But drivers are not supposed to pick up kids who travels without an adult aside (although some are known to bend the rules).
Children represent a fresh-faced opportunity. Ride-hailing for kids could be a market worth at least $50bn in America, hopes Ritu Narayan, the founder of Zum, one of the startups in want of the prize. These services are similar to Uber's, except they allow parents to schedule rides for their children in advance. Children are given a code word to ensure they find the right driver, and parent sreceive warnings about the pick-up and ride, including the car’s speed. These services promise more careful background checks^ finger printing and training than typical ride-hailing companies.
Annette Yolas, who works in sales at AT&T, says that she spends around $200 a month on Hop Skip Drive, a service that operates in several markets in California, for her three kids to get to the school bus on time and to ballet practice. She says it has been a “life-saver” by allowing her to work longer hours. Meanwhile, kids avoid the embarrassment of a relative pulling up at school. But ride-hailing firms for kids may end up like the children in Neverland, and never fully grown. They face several challenges. One is finding enough drivers. All users need rides during the same limited set of hours: before and after school, which makes it hard to offer drivers enough work. It can also be challenging to persuade parents, who have drilled it into children never to get in a stranger's car.
And while ride-sharing companies can annoy adult passengers by cancelling or being late, such behavior can be a disaster when children are involved. Shuddle, an early entrant in the taxis-for-kids business, which shut down in 2016, had only two out of five stars on Yelp (点网站)for that reason， and lots of negative reviews from parents. It had made money on rides mainly by raising prices ever higher.
Shuddle’s failure has not discouraged Uber itself, which is expected soon to launch a pilot programme for teenagers under 18. Parents may be happier to use services they are familiar with. But Uber’s entrance is likely to add to the struggle of child-focused ride-hailing businesses as they compete for customers and new funds.
1. What does the underlined phrase “a fresh-faced opportunity” refer to?
A. A new market B. A new company. C. A new service. D. A new challenge.
2. What is the purpose of the example of Annette Yolas?
A. To show the need of the working parents.
B. To show the benefits of the ride-hailing service.
C. To persuade more drivers into the business.
D. To persuade more parents to avoid the service.
3. What can be learned from the passage?
A. Drivers have to work all day long to meet parents’ needs.
B. Some parents are not willing to put their kids into strangers’ cars.
C. Small firms are not qualified enough to operate the service for kids.
D. Typical ride-hailing companies seldom check the background of their drives.
4. What may be the future of those small ride-hailing firms?
A. They may make a fortune B. They may easily get more funds.
C. They may struggle to survive. D. They may get better reviews.
New Zealand’s chief conservation (环保)officer，Lou Sanson, caused an argument in October y suggesting that it should be time to start charging tourists for entering national parks. New Zealanders are keen fans of these parks. Many would be annoyed at having to pay. But many also worry about the incoming foreign tourists who have been seeking the same fun.
In 2016 New Zealand hosted 3.5m tourists from overseas; by 2022 more than 4.5m are expected every year—about the same as the country’s population. Tourism has become the biggest export. The national parks, which make up about one-third of the country, are a huge draw. About half of the foreign tourists visit one. They are keen to experience the natural beauty promised by the country’s “100% Pure New Zealand” advertising campaign (and shown off in the film adaptations of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit”，which were shot in New Zealand’s breath-taking wilderness).
But for every happy foreign couple posing for a selfie next to a tuatara (楔齿蜥)there is a NewZealander who remembers the way things used to be-when you could walk the tracks without running into crowds at every clearing. Many locals now wonder why their taxes, as they see it, are paying for someone else's holiday. Mr. Sanson would seem to agree. Entry fees could be used to upgrade facilities such as car parks and trails. A charge could also help reduce numbers at some of the popular locations by making it cheaper to use lesser-known, but no less beautiful, trails far away from home.
Some are not so sure it would work. Hugh Logan, a former chief of conservation for the government who now runs a mountain climbing club, worries it would cost too much to employ staff to take money from hikers at entrances. It would also be difficult to prevent tourists from entering the parks without paying.
Some argue that it would be easier to charge visitors a “conservation tax” when they enter the The Green Party the third-largest in parliament says that adding around NZ$18($12.50)is still acceptable to foreign tourists. But some travel companies don't quite agree with the idea. They note that tourists already contribute around NZ $l.l bn through the country's 15% sales fetter, such firms say, to use foreign tourists' contribution to this tax for the protection of the parks.
Among the fiercest critics of a charge are those who point out that free access to wilderness areas is an important principle for New Zealanders, It is documented in a National Parks Act (法案) which inspires almost constitution-like devotion among the country's nature-lovers. Mr. Sans on has a rocky path ahead.
5. Why do some people support charging tourists visiting national parks?
A. Breath-taking wilderness deserves higher charge.
B. Locations become more popular because of movies.
C. Tourists have disturbed the peace of the locals.
D. The government needs more money to upgrade facilities.
6. What does the underlined word draw in Paragraph 2 probably mean?
A. Shelter. B. Attraction. C. Business. D. Puzzle.
7. Which of the following may Hugh Logan agree with?
A. It may not be easy to collect the entry fee in some cases.
B. It would be more practical to charge at the border of the country.
C. It would be more acceptable if only foreign visitors are charged.
D. It may not be reasonable to charge as tourists have already paid taxes.
8. What type of writing is this passage?
A. A social documentary. B. A news report
C. A scientific paper. D. A travel leaflet.