Student Taxi Scheme – a new safety initiative

Over the summer I have been working with the local police to create a scheme for The Student Taxi Scheme.

It is a welfare scheme that ensures that you can get home safely even if you’ve lost your money.

The scheme has been implemented in a number of other universities and has been very successful.

The basic idea is that if you have lost your money for any reason, you can get a taxi and pay your fee later.  The scheme will work with pre-booked taxi services only.  When booking a taxi you would state that you’re using this scheme.  When you arrive at your destination, you would hand your student ID to the taxi driver and both the taxi driver and yourself would sign a receipt to confirm the amount of the journey.

The following day, the taxi driver would bring your student ID and receipt and SUSU pay the taxi firm the fare.  You would then come to the Union reception to collect your ID card and pay the taxi fare back to us.

I believe this would be an important service to increase student safety when they may feel most at risk.

Please leave comments on this blog with your opinion of the scheme, anything that you think should be changed etc.

I would like to approve this scheme at the next meeting of Welfare committee in order to have it in operation before Christmas.

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4 Comments on "Student Taxi Scheme – a new safety initiative"

  1. Beckie
    14/10/2011 at 9:38 pm Permalink

    Hey Frankie….thts really awesome work…

  2. Beckie
    17/10/2011 at 12:46 pm Permalink

    Sounds like a great idea but what happens, for example, if your ID card is lost and picked up by someone else? It’s fine around campus as they’re blocked, but the taxi driver won’t necessarily be concerned with checking out who you are. Someone could easily pick it up and try to use it. Not a problem if it’s very obvious (eg. guy using a girl’s card), but with old/faded cards or someone who potentially looks like you using it you could find yourself with a taxi bill that isn’t yours.

  3. Beckie
    17/10/2011 at 3:39 pm Permalink

    Sounds great. But what if you had lost your purse/wallet, hence why you had no money. That would also make it very likely that you would also not have your student card on you. There will be flaws to every plan but losing a purse/wallet is easy to do and most likely reason for no money.

    Is there no way also to organise set fares for taxis, as with the minibus? It can be a massive gamble between taxi companies how much you pay (drivers can set their own fares and often the difference can amount to a couple of pounds – doesn’t sound like much but the difference between 4 pounds and 6 pounds say is a 50% increase!) and this also puts a lot of students off.

    Further thought, is there no way or arranging it all in house? E.g. start up a SUSU taxi service directly? Like minibus system but smaller. Though of course, this would negatively impact on the local community and economy which i am not in favour of.

    I’m sure there are more things to think about…If I think of any more I’ll forward them on. I am all for anything that stops people walking home at night on their own – too many people are left vulnerable because of it.

  4. Beckie
    21/10/2011 at 3:40 pm Permalink

    Hi everyone. Thank you for your comments, they are really useful. I’d like to highlight that this scheme is very much at the ideas stage. It has been approved in principle by our Trustee Board and I will be bringing it up at our next Welfare Committee Meeting, which, if you are interested is on Friday 4th November at 1PM in The Board Room on Level 2 of SUSU. I know that there are some factors of the scheme that need to be ironed out. Other universities have implemented this scheme and we will be speaking to them to find out exactly how they implement their scheme and what steps they take to avoid problems like the ones highlighted above.

    The ID card aspect to the scheme is necessary for identification purposes and also for our security to know who owes the Union money. I appreciate that losing a purse/wallet may also constitute losing a card, however this is not always the case and we do need this.

    There are fees that taxis have to follow, though there may be differences between Hackney carriage and pre-booked companies. Though on average a taxi from Bedford Place to Portswood (for example) will not cost more than £10 normally so we can use this sort of info to know if a taxi driver is trying to rip a student off.

    We operate the safety bus from The Union and implementing our own taxi service is not really viable.

    There will have to be an element of trust between us, students and taxi companies. But, we will be working on this to ensure that as many potential issues as possible are removed so the scheme will run as smoothly as possible.

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