SafeRide is going places

Launched on day one of fall semester, the nighttime on-demand transportation service SafeRide has seen a promising start, receiving praise from students, administrators and the campus community.

Now one week in, the transportation service has continued to build its ridership with each passing day and continues to gather more users through its app, TapRide (TapRide for iOS or TapRide for Android). Most importantly though, the service has helped a number of students get to where they needed to go at night, making them feel more secure as they matriculate back into campus life.

SafeRide is a campus transportation service that enhances safety during night hours. Students, faculty and staff who feel uncomfortable walking at night can request an on-demand ride to and from most locations on campus, Monday-Friday from 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

"I think the program demonstrates to students that meaningful changes are happening on campus," said AnnaMarie Barnes, ASUU student body president.

Designed by Commuter Services, the safety transportation service was formally announced last week. Administrators and the U’s student body president spoke to the program’s thoughtfully designed system, which is operated by students, for students.

Alma Allred, executive director for Commuter Services, shared the purpose of SafeRide and highlighted its functions and benefits. "We've been looking at enhancing our services so students have fewer risks during the night hours on campus," said Allred. "We see this as a positive step toward promoting safety for our students."

Four things you need to know about SafeRide

1. SafeRide is for those uncomfortable walking on campus at night

Though SafeRide is available to the university community, its primary purpose is to serve students on campus at night. Students can request a ride to a parking lot, to their on-campus housing area or to another campus building during the hours of 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m.

While safety is SafeRide's priority, comfort plays a role as well. The program employs student drivers to appeal to those students who prefer a more casual transportation experience.

“Student drivers make students in vehicles feel more comfortable,” Barnes said. "Having that peer-to-peer relationship in a safety situation is really important.”


2. SafeRide is easy to request

Any member of the university community with an active uNID can request a SafeRide through the TapRide app (TapRide for iOS or TapRide for Android). Requesting a ride through the app is similar to other rideshare systems like Uber and Lyft. With TapRide, passengers can track SafeRide vehicles in real-time, see the estimated time of arrival and receive notifications about their requested ride. These features help passengers avoid waiting outside for their ride.

Keep in mind that SafeRide runs throughout the campus footprint but not beyond as it is intended to support the U community’s academic and campus activities.


3. SafeRide is a Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety recommendation

SafeRide is a key part of the university's larger effort to enhance campus safety. According to Lori McDonald, vice president for Student Affairs, "Safety remains an absolute priority for our campus and our university, and SafeRide is an example of this primary focus."

SafeRide, and other recommendations made by the university's Presidential Task Force on Campus Safety have been implemented this fall semester to encourage student safety on campus.

Another recommendation that Commuter Services has enacted is the provision that students with "U" parking permits may park in designated "A" stalls after 3 p.m.


4. SafeRide is a pilot program

Though many other universities have adopted campus-safety transportation services like SafeRide, it is a new program to the U. SafeRide operations are subject to change depending on future demand. During its first semester serving campus, the pilot program may experience adjustments to improve efficiency.

SafeRide passengers can provide feedback to comments@ucs.utah.edu.

For more information on SafeRide, visit the Commuter Services website.