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Cincinnati pilots mobile app for students in need of a lift

Andrew Hudson   ||   Nov 05, 2014  ||   

Late night transportation is a vital service for students at universities nationwide. The same holds true in Cincinnati, where The University of Cincinnati App Lab has developed a mobile app that places NightRide services into the hands of students.

The new system is expected to boost usage of the NightRide system by giving students the ability to request a ride directly from their smartphone. The app will also provide students with status alerts and more detail regarding wait times and vehicle locations.

As reported by The News Record, the new app is expected to alleviate student frustration with the current NightRide system, which boasts a fleet of eight vans that run between 8 p.m. and midnight every Sunday through Wednesday and 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

The mobile app allows students to avoid busy call lines by enabling ride requests at the touch of a button. Tracking the status of a NightRide is also made easier withe new app, as push notification are sent to the student as they wait.

In addition to improving the overall student experience, the new app’s reporting capabilities could also benefit NightRide personnel in expediting the pickup process.

At present, the NightRide call center logs ride requests on Excel spreadsheets that are then sent to drivers via Google Docs – a manual and time-consuming process. With this in mind, the University of Cincinnati App Lab developed an accompanying app for NightRide drivers, called Dravigator, that better organizes ride requests, location and routing data for drivers.

The mobile app was created at the beginning of the fall 2014 semester and is currently in its pilot phase.

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