Police launch new program to make Safe Ride requests available online

A grant from Case Western Reserve’s Undergraduate Student Government (USG) has catalyzed the second major improvement in the university’s Safe Ride program in the past three months.

The university’s police department recently launched RideCell, an online dispatch and tracking service that allows members of the campus community to request transportation by logging on to saferide.case.edu; the technology also allows users to track a driver’s location and receive notification when their van is in close proximity. The department also plans to launch a mobile app for the service; it will be available online at saferide.case.edu by the start of the school year.

“This new service will reduce the time required to dispatch vehicles and also give users a much better sense of when their ride is about to arrive,” said Richard Jamieson, vice president for Campus Services.

“Improved response time often leads to increased ridership, which in turn enhances safety for faculty, staff and students.”

The introduction of RideCell follows the university’s addition of a third Safe Ride vehicle this spring thanks to a midyear commitment additional fund from the office of President Barbara R. Snyder. The increased fleet saw Safe Ride achieve its highest ridership since the program launched in 2009. The operation also posted near-record average response times of about five and a half minutes.

Safe Ride runs from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m., seven nights a week. The service area for the program extends north to Wade Park Boulevard; east to Coltman Road/the East 120th Street RTA station; west to East 101st Street/Mt. Sinai parking garage; and south to the intersections of Mayfield and Kenilworth Roads and Cedar and Fairmount Roads in Cleveland Heights.

Staff members drive the Safe Ride vehicles, which are dispatched through the department. With RideCell, the technology automatically dispatches a driver, shortening the time required for a dispatcher to make an assignment verbally. Funding for the new system came from a USG Student Life Improvement grant and Campus Services. RideCell operates at universities across the country, including Duke, Georgia Tech and the University of California at Berkeley.

RideCell technology also will be used for Responsive Transportation, which provides transportation for students who are temporarily disabled. More information on Responsive Transportation can be found online.

Safe Ride provides transportation to students, staff and faculty from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. daily. Those who prefer to call for the service still can use the Safe Ride phone line, 216.368.3000.

For more information regarding the Safe Ride Program and/or to learn more about RideCell, visit: help.case.edu, and select security, then Safe Ride, and then Safe Ride Guide and Map.

Please note: Safe Ride vans do not travel to the Coventry Road business district; individuals should instead use the shuttle bus that specifically serves this area. For shuttle buses, call 216.791.6226 or visit shuttle.case.edu.

In case of an emergency, contact Case Western Reserve University police at 216.368.3333.