Cost of living crisis: Student runs 14km home after night out drinking due to exorbitant cost of Uber

  • 14/09/2023
Will Blunt.
Will Blunt. Photo credit: Supplied

By Eve Hyslop

For many students, the end of a night out looks like an Uber ride home. But for Lincoln University student Will Blunt, it's a gruelling 14km run home with nothing but the boots on his feet, the mullet on his head and a podcast to keep him going.

Not once, but twice, Blunt has run the 14km journey from Lincoln to his flat on Main South Road. Blunt said that both times his decision came down to the $60 to $80 cost of an Uber at 3am, from Lincoln to Sockburn.

According to the Uber trip price estimator, it costs $36 for a ride from Lincoln University to Sockburn around midday, but between midnight and 3am, a rider would fork out around $80 to make it home safely.

The first run home was with his mate Ryan King early last year. With steep Uber prices and no sober friends to drive, King and Blunt began their trot home at 3am.

The pair took a much-needed break in Prebbleton to give Uber another shot, but all of the rides they requested cancelled on them.

"The second half of the race is the worst," Blunt said.

King recalled the cost of Ubers that night.

"It was just ridiculous, like 80 or 100 bucks," King said. "It was well too expensive."

Blunt isn't an avid runner, despite spending his weekends in the hills. This makes his two 14km trips his furthest.

"It's a very different tarmac around here."

Blunt's second run was a bid to escape a Lincoln flat, excusing himself for "a leak" outside which quickly turned into a sprint home.

Before the long-haul home, Blunt convinced himself, "I've done it before, this is lightweight."

Running solo late at night is not recommended by NZ Police according to safety guides. In Sockburn alone, 40 violent crimes have been reported in the last 12 months, while other student-based areas, Ilam and Riccarton, report 71 victimisations.

In their 'Be Safe, Feel Safe' booklet, NZ Police recommend anyone under the influence of alcohol should plan their ride home at the end of the night.