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New app crowdsources student delivery

Andrew Hudson   ||   Sep 09, 2016  ||   ,

A new delivery service app is now live on the Duke University campus this semester, and it's crowdsourcing food deliveries to students, by students.

According to a report from the Duke Chronicle, JoyRun is a campus-wide group chat that enables users to find other students that are at their favorite restaurant and then request deliveries. Likewise, users that are already at a restaurant can inform others via the app that they are available to pick up orders.

Still in its infancy, JoyRun is seeking to form a campus community mindset wherein students can be both the delivery service and the customer. In practice, a user may be making a Starbucks run, but with the app could then decide to pick up coffee orders for other students while there.

Users who do opt to deliver will be compensated for their efforts. Similar to Uber, all payment exchanges occur through the app. Users ordering a food run pay a small delivery fee, which is wired to the account balance of the person making the delivery. The more people who order, the more money a runner can make.

The delivery fee is set by the student making the run, or delivery, and has to be be between $0 and $5. Delivery prices vary depending on the time of day that the order is placed -- later hours carry a higher delivery fee. It's a delivery price that JoyRun says is less expensive than similar apps such as UberEATS or Postmates. Users pay for the food and the delivery fee within the app, and the money is deposited in the runner’s account via the app after the delivery is successfully made.

JoyRun enables deliveries for more than just food orders, as well. Students can also place run requests for groceries or household items.

The app was founded last December, and has since seen spot adoption at campuses across the country. JoyRun reports that the app typically reaches 20-30% of a campus' student body within months of launch and has, to date, been downloaded by some 10,000 users nationally. The app is now in use at eight universities total including Duke, UC Irvine, California Polytechnic State University, UC Davis, the University of Oregon, Iowa State University, Cornell and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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