Indiana Daily Student

IU Safety Escort changes name to IU Ride, switches app

<p>Then-senior Tanner Smith drives Jan. 16 for the then-IU Safety Escort service through downtown Bloomington. The ride service has been rebranded as IU Ride.</p>

Then-senior Tanner Smith drives Jan. 16 for the then-IU Safety Escort service through downtown Bloomington. The ride service has been rebranded as IU Ride.

IU Ride, previously known as IU Safety Escort, has switched names and apps for the new school year. IU Ride is a free, student-run ride service that previously used the app TapRide. It have now switched to the app TransLoc. 

IU Ride director Devon Rigali said the app switch was a necessary change for the service. 

“TapRide got bought out by Ford Motor Company, so they are making it so we have to use Transloc,” Rigali said. “It was either we start using Transloc this year or next year, and we decided with corona this was probably the best time to change.”

Rigali said app services will stay the same all-in-all, despite the switch.

“It’s still a free service for students and faculty," Rigali said. "We are extending our hours on Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to about 3 a.m. because IU decided to get rid of the night owl bus."

The switch to IU Ride was to make it more clear the ride service was through IU. 

“We originally decided to switch our name because we found out most people thought the name of the service was Tap Ride," Rigali said. "That was just the name of the third-party app that we use, so to get more recognition that we’re an IU service we wanted to switch it to IU Ride."

Rigali said the ride service has been around since the 1990s and was originally created by and for female students to get home safely at night. 

IU Ride is abiding by IU’s COVID-19 regulations, Rigali said. The regulations include wearing a mask and limiting the amount of people allowed in each ride to ensure physical distancing. Because of the limited amount of people per ride, Rigali suggests scheduling the rides ahead of time using the app.

Rigali said with the app being new, there could be glitches. If the app doesn't allow you to schedule rides in advance, Rigali suggests using IU Ride's website.

Sophomore Michelle Marshall said she thinks IU Ride is a useful tool in making campus safer, though she notes longer wait times on certain days. 

“I think it is a good idea because especially if you’re ready to leave and your friends aren’t it makes you a lot safer, because it’s not like a girl can just walk through campus by herself at night,” Marshall said. “I think IU should continue it, but if they maybe have more drivers and increase the funding for it, it would make it even safer because it would be a more convenient option.”

Junior Bella Valli said she used IU Ride quite a bit during her freshman year.

“I used it mostly because I lived in Eigenmann my freshman year and I had my car, and I had to park at the stadium, Valli said. "After I would drop my car off at the stadium at night I would use Tap Rides to get back to my dorm,."

Valli and Marshall both said they have recommended IU Ride to friends in the past.

If you are looking to use IU Ride in the future, you can download the Transloc app and find instructions on ride requests on the IU Ride website.

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