MTD Launches New MTD Connect App on March 16 with SafeRides Pilot
MTD is launching a pilot of a new on-demand app, MTD Connect, targeting MTD’s SafeRides service on the University of Illinois campus during Spring Break. Users can download the MTD Connect app for free in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store starting March 15, and be part of the SafeRides Pilot Launch on March 16. SafeRides service over Spring Break is available from 7:00PM to 12:30AM.
Designated pickups at the Illini Union, Armory & Wright (Main Library), and Illinois Street Residence Hall (ISR) will no longer be available. During Spring Break, users can request a SafeRide through the new app or by phone by calling 217.265.RIDE (7433) to schedule a ride (app requests and calls taken until 12:00AM). MTD operates SafeRides on a reduced basis with only one van over Spring Break as part of the system-wide service reductions that are put into effect when the UI is not in session.
After Spring Break, on Sunday, March 24, SafeRides will return to regular hours of operation and will be available from 7:00PM to 6:30AM through the end of the University of Illinois Spring Semester.
Continued SafeRides availability through the new MTD Connect app after Spring Break will be based on the success of the Pilot Launch. Keep an eye on MTD Pulse, Facebook, and Twitter for app status updates after the Spring Semester resumes.
Combining computer-aided dispatching into the SafeRides service model gives MTD the potential to reduce ride times associated with SafeRides, improve trip efficiency, and offer increased levels of consistency among trip requests. While a SafeRide will still be a phone call away, adding an on-demand app allows MTD to make SafeRides even better for our passengers.
The purpose of SafeRides is to provide safe transportation to individuals who are generally traveling alone when no other means of safe transportation are available within the designated SafeRides boundaries. There is a maximum limit of three (3) persons per pick-up location. SafeRides does not duplicate fixed-route bus service already provided by MTD. All rides with MTD are considered safe rides. SafeRides does not provide emergency transportation services to medical facilities. (Please call 9-1-1 for medical assistance.) SafeRides does not provide service to and from any bars.
In addition to SafeRides, SafeWalks is another option if you're out late at night in Campustown. Managed by the University of Illinois Police Department and operated by Illinois students, the UI Police Student Patrol will meet faculty, staff, and students and walk with them to their home, a nearby bus stop, etc. The Student Patrollers receive training and have radio communication with police officers. You can contact SafeWalks at 217.333.1216.