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App at Loyola to bring campus transit up to speed

Loyola University Chicago will launched an app for students, faculty and staff that is designed to improve the campus’ existing transit experience. The app — slated for launch this spring — will accompany Loyola’s 8-RIDE program and will enable students to call for a ride to any destination within the university’s outlined boundaries.

According to a report from thew Loyola Phoenix, the university will have four to six vans in service every day, with the 8-RIDE program serving anywhere from 75 to 100 riders per night during the peak hours of 10:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. The 8-RIDE service will be provided by local transit company, MV Transportation, and will run seven days a week from 6:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. with extended hours on Friday and Saturday until 4 a.m.

To develop the app, campus transportation has been collecting data on how students use the 8-RIDE service. The app is expected to be available after Loyola’s spring break.

The mobile app will require a one-time login with a student ID and will also include a shuttle bus tracker. 8-RIDE users will be able to request a ride, view the location of vehicles in service and monitor the time it will take for the ride to arrive.

8-RIDE has been in place since 2002, and in the early years the program was operated by Loyola. For the last decade, however, Loyola has outsourced the 8-RIDE program, and the results have been far more effective. The 8-RIDE service is available for current Loyola students, faculty and staff only. In order to use the service, a valid Loyola ID must be presented to the driver.

MV Transportation, meanwhile, is the second transit provider to contract with Loyola for the 8-RIDE program. MV Transportation has instituted a more efficient process for 8-RIDE services, including the collection more accurate ridership information and data to better hone services accordingly.

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