Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Hitch-hiking Signs at University Campus in Taiwan -- PINTUNG news - 公視晚間新聞 設站牌服務搭便車 不符法規遭拆 .
ETtoday ＞ 生活 ＞ 生活 2012年12月16日 15:22
原文網址: 屏科大生設9個「搭便車」站牌 公部門拆掉8個
ETtoday 新聞雲 http://www.ettoday.net/news/20121216/140462.htm#ixzz2FYVxy95y
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ETtoday on Facebook到觀光地點遊玩，如果沒有交通工具、公共運輸又少該怎麼辦？屏東科技大學有學ETtoday 新聞雲 I to contact the man at Pintung University 屏東科技大學 who is doing this Hitch Hike Sign idea. Please contact me here or at danbloom AT gmail DOT com -- I am an American reporter in Taiwan, I want to interview him for an English language newspaper in Taiwan.
公視晚間新聞 設站牌服務搭便車 不符法規遭拆
Please check this connection
Should hitchhiking be promoted in Taiwan?
Over the past month, "hitchhiking" signposts have sprung up along major roads leading to seven popular local tourist destinations, including Sun Moon Lake, Yushan National Park and Alishan National Scenic Area.
As the signposts were erected without official sanction, they were all quickly removed by government authorities.
The issue of whether hitchhiking should be encouraged or promoted in Taiwan amid the growing popularity of backpacking has drawn discussions among administrators of tourism sites and local backpacking fans.
The following are excerpts from a special report in the Sunday edition of the United Daily News on the views of both sides on hitchhiking:
The installation of nine hitchhiking signposts at seven of Taiwan's major sightseeing spots was the brainchild of Chen Kuan-chuan, a graduate student at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology.
Some backpackers from Hong Kong gave a thumbs-up when they saw a one of the signposts at Sun Moon Lake, saying it was very creative and gave a sense of warmth.
The round sign showed the word “hitchhiking” in white lettering in English and Chinese characters and a thumbs-up signal on a blue background.
A thumbs-up is a common gesture used by backpackers around the world to cheer up each other during travel.
Cho Chin-chuan, a senior staff member at the Sun Moon Lake Youth Activity Center, said the center receives more than 100 international backpackers a month.
"The demand for hitchhiking tends to be high because of scarce transportation services in mountainous regions," he said.
To his knowledge, Cho said, it is not uncommon for staff at the Yushan National Park Administration's Tatachia office to offer rides to foreign backpackers.
Tseng Han-chou, head of the Alishan National Scenic Area Administration, however, said that privately erected hitchhiking signposts should be removed because backpackers may be misled into believing that they were government-approved signs.
"In the event of an accident or mishap, government agencies would come under fire. Therefore, we should remove the hitchhiking signposts," Tseng said.
In the interest of their own safety, backpackers should carefully plan their travel routes, boarding and transportation arrangements before starting out and should not lightly try to hitchhike, he suggested.
Wu Hsiang-chien, deputy director of the Yushan National Park Administration, echoed Tseng's views, saying that although hitchhiking is popular overseas, conditions in Taiwan are different.
"Perhaps, we should consider installing surveillance cameras if we finally decide to set up hitchhiking stations," Wu suggested.
Kuo Jen-jung, an avid backpacker, said Taiwan is known for its friendly and warm-hearted people.
"Government officials should devise ways of promoting safe hitchhiking to boost tourism," he said.
A backpacker who identified himself as Chris said he has fond memories of hitchhiking in New Zealand.
"Setting up hitchhiking stations or signposts can allow backpackers to seek hitchhiking rides together, which can give them feelings of sharing and caring and may also make it easy for them to get rides," Chris said.
Chen's move should spur the Tourism Bureau and other government agencies to upgrade transportation for the convenience of backpackers, he said.
Chen said he set up nine hitchhiking signposts at tourist spots, including Kenting, Tatachia, Fenchihu, Shihcho and Sun Moon Lake in November with the assistance of seven of his classmates.
As National Pingtung University of Science and Technology covers an area of 300 hectares of land, Chen said, hitchhiking is very popular on campus.
"Helping each other lets us feel good and close," he said.
He said that when he was growing up in a Hakka village in the southern county of Pingtung, his neighbors often gave him a ride when he was in elementary school.
"The experience inspired me to erect hitchhiking signposts at our major tourist sites to offer better services to foreign backpackers because public transportation remains inadequate in those areas," Chen said.
He said he discussed the idea with local governments, but only Chuchi township chief supported the proposal.
When he learned that his signs had been removed, Chen said he did not regret the effort made by him and his classmates.
"I'm prepared to pay a fine," Chen said.
He added he hopes government agencies will set up hitchhiking stations to help improve the travel experience in Taiwan for backpackers from home and abroad. (Dec. 16, 2012).
(By Sofia Wu)
Posted by DANIELBLOOM at 6:27 PM