According to a 2018 study completed by Private Hire and Taxi Monthly (PHTM) magazine, Cornwall has some of the highest taxi rates in the country, but three students from Falmouth University believe that they have the answer.
Relaxi is an initiative led by students on Creative Advertising at Falmouth University, who aim to form a carpooling service which can offer discounted rates to customers at a fraction of the equivalent taxi cost.
The scheme is particularly targeted towards the former Carrick district of Falmouth, Penryn and Truro which according to PHTM, has the sixth-highest prices in the country.
“We realised there is a massive price gap between the cost of a bus and the cost of a taxi,” said Millie O’Connor, co-founder of Relaxi.
“A bus to Penryn might cost £1 or £3 without a student card whereas a taxi to Penryn costs around £12 so we are aiming to find the middle ground.”
O’Connor also stresses that safety is paramount and in comparison to other services, at least one of the operators has been in the car with each driver.
So how can people access the service?
“We have a Facebook page so the user will message the page asking for a lift with details of when and where to and from. Then we’ll contact the drivers to see who is available and
send you the price,” added O’Connor.
The system would be based on flat rates for different zones e.g. Zone 1 in Falmouth would be £5 for anywhere in the town.
But what do students think of the idea?
Steven Redwood, a Graphic Design student at Falmouth said: “As I live near to the university, I probably wouldn’t use it as much around Falmouth, but it’s a brilliant idea for events outside of the town.
“We always try to get mates to drive to places like Perranporth for gigs at The Watering Hole but it’s a pain because they want to go to the event themselves, which this could help with.”
Amelia Brooks studying Illustration at Falmouth said that it is a “good idea” and she would use the service if its timing proved to be reliable.
“I decided not to become one of the drivers in the end as I didn’t want to commit to taking on a part-time job alongside my football and studies. However, it’s a great idea that will help many students,” added Albert Lawrenson who also studies Creative Advertising.