STRANDED students have been thrown a transport lifeline after a taxi company agreed to help get them home safely.
Sunderland’s biggest cab firm, Station Taxis, has launched a pioneering scheme to help those who have spent too much on a night out.
The firm has agreed to provide a “free” ride home for any student who runs out of money while socialising, under a deal agreed with Sunderland University’s Students’ Union.
The scheme, formally launched as part of Freshers’ Week, requires students to hand over their Student Union Membership Card and sign an account at the end of the journey to confirm its cost.
The Students’ Union will reimburse the taxi firm and then receive the fare from the student when they go to reclaim their membership vard.
It is thought the Student Emergency Taxi Service, which will run from September to June, is the only one if its kind in the UK.
Trevor Hines, of Station Taxis, said: “The aim of the scheme is to ensure students reach their digs safely and do not find themselves in a situation where they are distressed or at risk of harm.
“The classic scenario is a student enjoying a drink in the city centre and losing or running short of money.
“In the past, they may have had to walk home, which, late at night and in a city they don’t know, could be fraught with difficulties. Now, they simply call us.”
The service is open to all of Sunderland University’s estimated 17,500 students, as long as they have a current Student Union membership mard.
Students who have run out of money as far as Durham or Newcastle will also still be able to use the scheme.
The service has its own dedicated telephone number on 565 65 65 or you can get more information from Station Taxis on 555 5 555.