How many times have you been on a night out, and you’ve not got cash for a taxi, or the taxis that lurk outside of nightclubs try to charge you £12 for what
would normally cost £3.50? How many times have you resorted to walking home to avoid the cost? How many times have you felt unsafe getting home?
We are proud to announce that we have launched the Safe Taxi Scheme to combat these issues so that our Stoke students can get home safely after a
night out, without being charged a ridiculous fee, and you don’t even need to pay on the night!
So, what is a Safe Taxi Scheme?
The principle of a safe taxi scheme is that if a student is on a night out off campus and they do not have any cash to get home, or if the taxis that linger around clubs are charging an extortionate fee, then the student can pay with their student card. When I was researching for my leadership race manifesto, I discovered that these schemes have existed at other Universities for a few years now, and thought, “why aren’t we doing that here at Staffs?” So, I made it
one of my goals to bring this in for our university. We have partnered with Take Me Taxis (Intercity) to bring this scheme to Stoke.
How does it work?
You’re out in Hanley or Newcastle, or maybe you’re at a house party, and it’s time to head home.
Step 1: You call 01782 855855 and order a Safe Taxi (sorry you can't book this service via their app)
Step 2: Give the operator your name, phone number and student number.
Step 3: Wait for your text message and check the taxi registration matches before getting in the car.
Step 4: Show the driver your student card or beacon app so they can confirm your student number.
Step 5: Get dropped off at a residential address, campus, or other safe location.
Step 6: Pay your bill the following week!
The fine print:
You’ve just read the basics; here are the T’s and C’s:
- The scheme operates 7 days a week from 10pm until 6am.
- You must be a current student at Staffordshire University (sorry alumni!)
- The maximum cost of the trip is £20.
- “Other safe locations” for drop-off are police stations, fire stations, or hospitals.
- Any inappropriate, rude, offensive, or aggressive behaviour exhibited by students during the trip will be logged by the drivers, and the incident will be reported to the Students’ Union (drivers are providing a service, let's treat them with respect).
- Drivers have the right to terminate a journey if they feel that they are in immediate danger or experience inappropriate behaviour (same as you deserve to feel safe, drivers deserve to feel safe too).
- Non-payment or repeat behavioural issues can result in a ban on using the scheme (let's not abuse it)
How do I pay?
The Monday after your trip, you will receive an email from the Students’ Union with your trip details, your fare, and bank details to pay. You then need to pay the amount either via your preferred banking method or in person at the SU finance office on College Road! It’s that simple. You will have a week to pay the fare. Failure to pay means that unfortunately, you will be blocked from using the scheme until payment is made.
If there is any reason why you are unable to pay, then contact us to let us know, and we can figure out a payment plan or deferral of payment to a later date. Don’t just ignore the email and hope it goes away; let us know so that we can help <3
What makes it a “safe” taxi?
We chose to partner with Take Me because all of their drivers have an Enhanced DBS check, and have also attended safeguarding courses through the council, as Take Me (formerly Intercity) is partnered with the council for school runs! Take Me has the safety of their customers at heart, and if anything happens on a trip that makes you feel unsafe, they insist that it is reported ASAP so that they can resolve the issue and ensure users are safe.
What about Stafford and London students?
We’re piloting the scheme here in Stoke with Take Me (formerly Intercity), where a higher proportion of our students live and go on nights out. If the scheme is successful, and if there is demand for the scheme in other areas where our students live, we can look into the expansion of the scheme with taxi firms local to those areas. If you think the need is there, email us to let us know!
Speaking of feedback…
As this is a new scheme, we need as much feedback as possible. We would like to know if it’s running smoothly and if any issues are cropping up which may need dealing with, be sure to contact us and let us know how it went!