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Should Subways Run 24 hours a Day?

What do you think about the operating hours of the subways? Should they extend time? Or are you satisfied with the subway’s running times? Regarding this matter, during last semester, Hongik University had a ‘Hongik Writing Contest’, which was divided into a beginner and an intermediate level. Finally, there were two winning essays from each level under a topic titled ‘Should Subways Run 24 hours a Day?’ Therefore, Hongik Tidings would like to present the two pieces of writing to our readers.

Beginning Level Winning Essay

Noh Hye-rim B746062 lilyn12@naver.com

In Korea, most of the subway lines starts running at about five thirty in the morning and shuts down at about one o’clock at night. Some people argue about the early shut down of the subway system, but is it right to run the subway system for 24 hours a day? Here are some reasons why the subway shouldn’t run 24 hours a day. In order to keep the subway system running all night long we first need more people working on the station and in the subway including the policemen who keep the station safe. In addition, obviously more electricity and fossil fuel would be needed to run the station and the subway itself for extra times. In daytime, a lot of people use the subway system and the fee they pay for their ride makes up the money needed for the wages given to the workers and bills for electricity and fuels used to run the whole system. On the other hand during the night, the number of people using the subway system drops significantly, which means there’s not enough money for the government to pay for everything. To make up the shortage, the government would be left with no other choices but to raise the taxes. This problem is all about efficiency. With only few people using the subway system at late nights, it is not adequate for everyone to pay the costs. Also the convenience which the 24-hour-running subway system will bring to us would not be so great compared to the costs we would have to pay. In conclusion, because of these reasons, running the subway system for 24 hours is very inefficient and the running time should be left as how it is now.

Intermediate Level Winning Essay

Kim Yeji B381037 94kimyj@gmail.com

Owls should do their things at home not in the subway. The demand of public transportation at night gets higher as more and more people spend time outside late. However, it does not justify that the running hour of transportation should be prolonged. There are three main reasons the subway system should not run 24 hours a day budget, waste of energy and workforce and alternatives.

First, budget problems of Metro will lead to tax rise. Since Metro is a public corporation, a part of its budget comes from tax. For the sake of the public, it sets the fee low and provides free tickets for senior citizens over 65. As a result, the expenditures of the Metro are higher than its profit. If subways are run 24 hours, the budget problems will be worse. In the end, citizens will carry the burden of lacked budget by paying higher fee or tax.

Second, too much energy and workforce will be wasted only for few users. There are less users from 1 AM to 5 AM compared to the daytime. However, it requires the same energy as the daytime to run the subway system. For example, it will need the same amount of electronics to lighten all the stations, platforms, and trains. On top of that, employees need to be positioned to operate subways, keep them clean and protect the users from any potential danger. Thus, there will be a huge waste of energy and workforce.

Third, there are already multiple alternatives of subway while it is not in operation For instance, Seoul city has Night Bus system from 2 AM to 4:30 AM which circulates the main streets of Seoul city for the citizens. Also, the government has plans in pipeline to us buses into carpooled taxi for passengers. Furthermore there is a carpool taxi service available in every city. By using this service, people can get their destination at even lower cost than taxi.

Every business, even if it is run for the public, can be operated and maintained when its service is successfully able to satisfy its objective and profit. Yet, it is a waste of tax and energy to run the subway system all day long even though we already have many alternatives. In that regard, the subway system should not run 24 hours a day.

Choi Yugyeong  pretty0467@naver.com

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