Ewha students will need to double-check their purses if they are thinking of taking a taxi to a building inside the Ewha campus. Starting from May 1, the school has started to charge 1,000 won for every taxi entering the school regardless of the time the taxi remains campus. The 1,000 won is in addition to the original taxi fair.
The Office of General Affairs (OGA) said that they decided to charge this additional fee because of rising safety concerns on campus. Numerous taxis tend to go way over the speed limit, which is 20km per hour, threatening the safety of the students. Thus, the OGA imposed a fee that would reduce the numbers of taxis that enter campus.
So far, the OGA is satisfied with the results. “An average of more than 400 taxis used to enter the school grounds per day. Now the number has shrunk to about one fourth of the original count. We are trying to encourage students to take a taxi as far as the front or back gate if they wish, but walk to their destinations on campus,” said Kim Yong-wan, vice chief of OGA. “It really is only a five to seven minute walk at the most.”
In addition to the taxis being a threat to the students, the parking staff also reported difficulties with taxi drivers. “Up to less than only a month ago, several members of our staff had to block speeding taxis with nothing but their bare arms,” said Kim Sung-hwan, the chief of parking maintenance. “The taxi drivers would ignore the staff and drive right past them. Sometimes they would honk, shake their fists and yell at us to get out of the way. Some even called the office. It was dangerous for both the staff and the students. Now with a reduced number of taxis, it’s easier to keep the campus in order.”
However, this new policy has aroused controversy among some Ewha students, especially those who live in the dormitory. “Students cannot help but to take a taxi when we come back to the dormitory after the weekends with a lot of luggage. There are so many students, and the dormitory bus just isn’t big enough. Why can’t the school find another alternative? I feel like I am being overcharged when I am already paying an expensive tuition fee,” said Lee Yae-jin (Social Sciences, 1). Another student, Park Hye-in (Chinese Literature, 1) said, “We have to be back at the dormitory by 11 p.m. on weekdays, and if we miss the last dormitory bus, we have no choice but to take a taxi all the way up.”
On the other hand, Hwang Yoon-bi (Nutritional Science, 2) believes the decision of the school is prudent. “I have come across several cases where I narrowly dodged speeding taxis that drove right past me. They do not think about the students, and sometimes I wonder whether it’s the cars or the students that are supposed to come first,” said Hwang. “Some students may feel that the loss entirely goes to them, but I think it’s actually a vital measure for the sake of all Ewha students. If the fee was any lower, I believe most students would still take taxis inside the campus.”
by Kang Sung-hye