After months of students’ complaining that the 8-Ride transportation service is inefficient, Campus Transportation developed 8-Ride Mobile, an online application to make scheduling rides with the service faster and more effective.
8-Ride Mobile was launched on March 22 and allows students to register and schedule 8-Ride services through an online link. Through the link, students can check estimated arrival times and track 8-Ride van locations, similar to popular transportation services such as Uber and Lyft.
8-Ride Mobile is currently an online link, but Campus Transportation Manager Nick Memisovski said Campus Transportation is working on developing it into an app students can download onto their phones in the fall semester.
“The reason we went with the link first is because a good population of students don’t have smartphones,” said Memisovski. “So we wanted to make sure we got everyone encompassed and that was the best way to do it.”
Students without smartphones will still be able to access the service through the link once it becomes available as a mobile app.
Campus Transportation worked closely with the Student Government of Loyola Chicago (SGLC) for student input.
SGLC Facilities and Transportation Committee Chair Meghan Pazik said Campus Transportation asked SGLC members for their thoughts on the idea of an app.
“It was mainly us just being honest with them and saying people don’t use 8-Ride because it takes a long time, and these are the problems and issues with it, which they kind of knew already,” said the senior environmental studies and communication studies double major. “It was an initiative through campus transportation, and SGLC just facilitated student input.”
Pazik said the app will be more convenient for students because it’s similar to the technology students already use.
“It’s more up-to-date with a lot of what we’re used to using in terms of technology and mobile applications,” said the 22-year-old.
Since its official launch, more than 300 students have registered and more than 100 rides have been booked through the online application, according to Memisovski.
Memisovski said 8-Ride conducted a trial run of the app on its most frequent users before releasing the app to all students.
“We did a soft launch, making it available to our 15 most frequent flyers — people who use it the most,” he said.
Memisovski said 8-Ride is a service for the students and he wants to hear feedback on ways to improve it. Campus Transportation is currently working on advertising the new online application because many students don’t know about it yet.
Junior exercise science and pre- physical therapy double major Mary Kladis said she didn’t know about the app but thinks it will make it easier for students to schedule the transportation service.
“It seems like a good idea to have an 8-Ride app to eliminate any miscommunications between students and the office, since that has happened to me before,” Kladis said.
Frequent 8-Ride user junior Ela Wiedbusch said she uses the service a lot because she lives a half a mile off campus and appreciates that Campus Transportation is trying to improve the service.
“Each year I’ve been at this school, Loyola has continuously increased the availability and accessibility of the 8-Ride service,” said the criminal justice/criminology and psychology double major. “8-Ride has been very accessible and accommodating, especially during the times I am studying in the IC late or at a friend’s dorm during late hours.”
Wiedbusch said the app will help make the service even more efficient.
“I feel that in a time where technology is flourishing, this app is a great way to make 8-Ride even more accessible and making it easier for the drivers and students,” said the 21-year-old.
8-Ride runs seven days a week from 6:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. with extended hours on Friday and Saturday until 4 a.m.