Maryland students using the university’s Nite Ride transit system can now request a ride in the late night and early morning hours via a new Uber-esque app.
According to a report from The Diamondback, the University of Maryland’s Department of Transportation Services has linked its service to a mobile interface where students can request free rides via the new Transloc Rider app. The initiative comes in response to the influx of calls that Nite Ride operators receive in the late night hours.
Maryland’s Nite Ride service operates seven nights a week, from the hours of 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. With the new app interface, students can now enter their pickup point and destination, similar to Uber, and the app assigns a DOTS driver to them. The app can also estimate driver arrival times.
Because university buses don’t ask for identification, anyone with access to the app can request a ride, university officials say. This means that members of the community can leverage the service if they are traveling within Nite Ride’s boundaries. The process will be similar to that of the university’s Metro bus, which university officials explain travels off campus but doesn’t ask for riders to show university IDs to board.
The app is expected to benefit both riders and drivers by reducing phone backlog and automatically creating a GPS-navigated route, which will cut the time drivers spend planning a route based on their location.
DOTS began marketing the app in August, and made information available on the department’s website. At the time of The Diamondback’s report, just 10% of people using the Nite Ride service did so via the app.