A safe taxi scheme for students is being launched in Aberdeen.
Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Students’ Union is working with Rainbow City Taxis to ensure vulnerable students without cash from both of the city’s universities get home safely.
Launched to coincide with Freshers’ Week and the new academic semester, the scheme will allow students from RGU and the University of Aberdeen to get home safely in a Rainbow City Taxi by using their student cards as payment.
Students who find themselves in an unsafe situation without any cash can access a designated ‘Safe Taxi’ by calling Rainbow City Taxis and quoting their university and student number.
Rainbow City Taxis will take a valid student card as a temporary payment and return it to either RGU’s Students’ Union (RGU:Union) or the University of Aberdeen’s Student Association (AUSA), where the student will repay the cost on collection of their card.
Edward Pollock, RGU’s Student President for Communication and Democracy who has led the scheme’s establishment in Aberdeen, says: “The scheme has been hugely successful in a number of other cities and we are glad to be able to make it a reality here in Aberdeen.
“The welfare of students in Aberdeen, particularly around Freshers’ Week, is a key concern of the students’ associations of the city. The team at RGU:Union saw how the scheme has been positively set up in other cities such as Glasgow, and decided to take the initiative to proactively launch this project in Aberdeen.
“Whilst we hope the scheme doesn’t need to be used often, we are hopeful that this emergency provision will provide students with the support and comfort that they have the option to always get home safely.”
RGU:Union, which is working with the AUSA on the scheme, chose to partner with Rainbow City Taxis based on its reputation as a safe taxi which operates a GPS tracking in all of its vehicles, as well as ensuring that all of its drivers apply for a PVG check.
It also operates a text system that verifies the booked taxi's colour, make and registration plate, ensuring that students only get in the designated taxi where there will be a clear record of the booking.
Gordon McKay, General Manager of Rainbow City Taxis, says: “The student population is a vibrant part of Aberdeen City. Rainbow City Taxis, which already support a number of local organisations, is delighted to be working in partnership with RGU and University of Aberdeen in providing a service that will support vulnerable students in an emergency situation, giving a safer alternative to walking home.”
Chief Inspector Graeme Mackie from Police Scotland's Aberdeen City Division, said: "This scheme is a great provision to have in place as Aberdeen prepares to welcome new and returning students ahead of the Freshers' period. While we always advise students to prepare and know how they're getting home, it is comforting to know that they have this option as a backup.”
Anna DuthieCommunications Officer