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SafeRide app seeks to increase efficiency

By Kristen Fedor, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 19, 2014

With the help of a new application, student SafeRide users now have the option of ordering a ride directly from their phone or computer.

The app, called Campus SafeRide, alerts users when rides are en route and arrive at a pick-up stop. It launched this past weekend.

Engineering seniors Andrew McGrath and Summit Shrestha, both Computer Science majors, created the app as a continuation of a class project they worked on together.

McGrath was a SafeRide driver for more than a year and said he noticed certain inefficiencies with the program — faults he wanted to fix with the creation of the app. When presented with a class assignment that provided the opportunity to create this app, he teamed up with Shrestha to make it a reality.

One of the issues McGarth hoped to address was the comparatively long waits students often endure for SafeRide to arrive. With the app, students can now receive alerts for when their ride is on its way. This allows students to continue working in the library while they wait, McGrath said, instead of having to wait outside for long periods of time.

McGrath and Shrestha approached LSA junior Emily Lustig, chair of CSG Campus Safety and Security Commission, for help in promoting it the campus community.

Lustig said the app is an initiative that will help increase safety of students on campus. She said other new initiatives such as the Night Owl bus have been helpful in transporting students who are off campus, but the SafeRide app will be more focused on students on campus.

Lustig also serves as party chair for Make Michigan, a party running in the upcoming CSG elections. She brought the app to other Make Michigan leaders to further the collaborative process of implementing the app.

Public Policy junior Bobby Dishell, Make Michigan presidential candidate and current vice president of CSG, spoke about the work the party did to help implement Campus SafeRide as part of its campaign promises.

“We think it’s going to make campus a lot safer, and we’re happy that Make Michigan was able to help bring this to campus,” Dishell said.

McGrath and Shrestha said the response to the app has been positive overall since its launch.

“It’s been really great creating something that we thought students would like and based on the feedback, it honed to what we wanted,” Summit said.

Since the launch, they have already tweaked some features in response to student feedback. McGrath said these minor changes deal with making alerts more pronounced and clear.

Students can visit campussaferide.com to send in feedback and get directions on how to download the app.