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Duke expands late night van service with mobile app

Duke University is expanding access to its late night van service with a newly added feature to an existing mobile app. The newest addition to Duke’s TransLoc mobile app is the ability to book on-demand rides from student smartphones for safe campus transportation after hours.

According to an official university release, the TransLoc app is currently available to community members to track Duke transit buses in real-time across campus. New to the app will be the ability for Duke community members to schedule a ride between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday.

“The biggest impact will be that students, faculty and staff will see a really improved experience in being able to request a van much more easily and much more conveniently since it’s all contained within the same app as our transit data,” says Tyler Dewey, alternative transportation lead and associate transit planner for Duke Parking & Transportation.

“Having that ability to have our vans and transit in one location will be much clearer for our users,” adds Dewey. “I think it will make it an easier and much more comfortable experience for those who rely on it.”

The TransLoc app is free to download on the Apple App and Google Play stores. In addition to the mobile app, the service also enables students to book a ride from the desktop version of the software.

Duke Vans, the service connected to the app, offers free rides between Duke facilities during hours when the standard university buses are not in service. The Duke Vans service is intended as a supplement to the university’s primary transit options.

Once an account is created, the TransLoc app and desktop version are both available to Duke students, faculty and staff to book on-demand rides. After first selecting the Duke University campus as the chosen service area, users must then verify their identity using their university login credentials.

Using the familiar ride share app formula, students can select their pickup and drop-off locations by typing in the desired addresses. Users will be assigned to the nearest van and provided with an estimated time of arrival once the ride has been confirmed.

Users can track the progress of the van along its route and make changes to the reservation, including canceling the ride if necessary. The TransLoc service will also send text message notifications to users updating them on the progress of their ride.

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