Safe Ride Provides Free Transportation to Select Locations

On a normal day, the UM-Flint campus can be traversed from end to end at a steady walking pace in less than 15 minutes. On other days, however, when the snow is piled high or for some who may face restrictions to their movement, walking is not an option.

While shuttle services have been offered by The Department of Public Safety (DPS) in the past, their accessibility has been somewhat limited.

To address this issue, DPS partnered with student government and Safe Ride was born. Uber-esque in its nature, Safe Ride offers the ability for students, faculty and staff to call for a ride from a number of pre-selected areas around campus.

Now, users may also request a lift through TapRide, an app that allows users to call for Safe Ride vehicles with the push of a button. Simply download the app, select the UM-Flint campus and log in using your Uniqname and password.

Once logged in, a map of campus is shown with selectable pins. To request a ride, select a pick-up and drop-off location. Although still new, student feedback has already began aiding future plans for geofence expansion, but as of right now, this is a list of current selectable spots:

  • Chase Bank
  • Farmer’s Market
  • Ferris Wheel Building
  • First Street Residence Hall
  • French Hall
  • Hubbard Building
  • Hurley Hospital
  • Mill Street Parking Deck
  • Murchie Science Building/Rec Center/UCEN
  • Mass Transportation Authority (MTA)
  • Northbank Center
  • Riverfront Residence Hall
  • Secretary of State/Post Office
  • The Durant
  • Thompson Library
  • University Pavilion/Brush Alley
  • William S. White Building

After choosing your destination, you’ll then be asked to select how many passengers will be in the vehicle and if there will be any bicycles or wheelchairs. There is a maximum of six passengers.

Once the ride request is submitted, an estimated wait time will be shown until the Safe Ride vehicle arrives to take you to your destination.

There are safety rules to know before using Safe Ride. No food or alcohol is permitted in the vehicle, carry-on items must fit in the rider’s lap and there are no custom destinations–you must use the pre-planned selections within the app.

I decided to see how well the service worked myself, so I requested a ride from the White Building to my car in the Mill Street Parking Deck. The user interface was intuitive and my estimated wait time was seven minutes. This was a lot less time than going on foot–a lot warmer, too. Ten minutes later, I was getting into my car.

Although my experience was positive, there are some issues Student Government has brought to the attention of DPS. The biggest one being the lack of signage to show specific pick-up locations–it’s not apparent enough through the app which entrance to wait at. To solve this, DPS is considering having signs at each location. Having specific pick-up locations within the app itself is also being talked about.

The Safe Ride services are available from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. These are rough hours and are subject to change. The service will not be available during unplanned campus closings.

Feedback is greatly appreciated and can be given to either a student government representative or DPS.

For more information and inquiries, visit the Safe Ride website.