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Taxi issues, cabstand addressed

Joseph McMahon | Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Council of Representatives discussed possible plans for a permanent, on-campus taxicab stand at its meeting Tuesday. The cabstand would create a space where taxis would be allowed to wait to pick up students.

The discussion comes amid recent controversy over what drivers say is an NDSP crackdown on idle cabs at Main Circle. Some cab drivers have said that, until this year, NDSP has never objected to cabs waiting at Main Circle. But in recent months, NDSP has forced taxis to leave the premises – even handing out trespass notices to repeat offenders.

While local cab drivers told The Observer in October that they would support a cabstand at Notre Dame, NDSP Director Phil Johnson was skeptical and said the layout of campus would prevent such a measure.

At Tuesday’s COR meeting, student body president Liz Brown addressed NDSP’s concerns, suggesting a cabstand be placed outside McKenna Hall, a location she said would help minimize the traffic flowing into Main Circle and also provide a safe place for students to catch a taxi.

“Students and cab drivers need to know where they can go to safely meet,” Brown said.

She also said too many students have been walking through unsafe neighborhoods in order to go off campus, most likely because they are tired of being overcharged by taxi drivers.

“We need to make it easier for students to pay for cabs so that they do not have to walk late at night,” Brown said.

In other COR news:

– COR members discussed the best method to involve students in the selection of the commencement speaker.

Several COR members said they felt the student body was unhappy with past speakers and that students, especially seniors, should have some say in the process.

“What we want is some student presence in the decision-making process,” said Chris Doughty, vice president of the senior class council.

Will Kearney, student government director of communications, suggested that the University allow senior class members to vote for a commencement speaker from a list four or five possible candidates.