Getting a Ride

student on cell phoneProcedure

To arrange a SafeRide with a smartphone, schedule a ride with our new TapRide app! With the app, users login using their NetID and password, order a ride, and will be given an ETA when a driver has selected their ride.

To arrange a SafeRide and you don't have a smartphone, call us at 847-491-7000 within operating hours. You will need to provide us with:

  • your netID
  • your location
  • how many people will be in your party (3 maximum)

and our dispatcher will give you a pick-up time. Please be present at your pick-up location on time.


Before you begin:

  • Download the TapRide app. The app can be found by going to the Apple App Store for iPhones or the Google Play Store for Android phones.

Setting up the TapRide app:

  • Open the TapRide app and select the 'Northwestern University' location from the dropdown screen. When prompted login using your NetID and password.

Setting pick-up and drop-off locations:

  • Tap the rectangle that says 'Choose Pick-up Location'. The app will then prompt you to either 'Hold Map on Pick-up Location' or you can select the pencil icon to type in your pick-up address. If you choose to hold the map, simply press and hold on the map the specific location where you would like to be picked up. When a pick-up location is selected, it will be reflected in the rectangle labeled 'A'. Repeat these steps for your drop-off location in the rectangle labeled 'B'. After you have selected a pick-up and drop-off location, select the number of riders, up to 3. The final step is to click 'Submit Ride'.

Catching your ride:

  • When your ride is submitted, it enters the queues of nearby drivers. Your app will display 'Waiting for available drivers' until a driver accepts your ride request. Once a driver has accepted your ride, your app will notify you that 'Your Ride is on the way' and give you an estimated time of arrival (ETA).
  • You can monitor your driver with your app, as a yellow vehicle icon, which will appear on your map once a driver has accepted your ride.
  • Drivers also have a 'Honk' feature that will send you an alert when they have arrived to your location. Drivers will only wait 3 minutes from your given ETA before leaving, so be sure to be ready and waiting at the time your ride is scheduled.


  • Drivers reserve the right to cancel rides, in accordance to SafeRide policies and regulations. If a driver cancels your ride for any reason, you will receive a notification indicating the ride is canceled and why.
  • As a rider, you may also cancel your ride right from your app by selecting the 'Cancel Ride' button.


SafeRide is available from 7:00 pm to 3:00 am seven days a week during the academic year when classes are in session.

SafeRide reserves the right to reduce or suspend operations during inclement weather or during other circumstances that may place our drivers, and passengers at risk.

Things to Know When Getting a Ride

SafeRide will only perform pick-ups and drop-offs at certain locations and within pre-defined boundaries. For more information, visit Service Coverage and Locations.

There are also regulations and etiquette that pertain to receiving a SafeRide. Students agree to these policies when they request a ride - the University is able to deny a ride if these policies are not being honored.


staff on carsSafeRide is a safety service not at taxi, as such there are several rules to keep in mind.

  1. SafeRide will only pick up 3 people per ride.
  2. SafeRide will not accept advance reservations, all rides are dispatched on a first come first served basis.
  3. SafeRide doesn’t allow scheduled destinations to be changed after being picked-up. The destination that is scheduled during the initial call is where you will be taken.
  4. SafeRide will not transport you beyond our transportation boundaries.
  5. SafeRide will not provide rides for less than 3 blocks.
  6. SafeRide will only provide rides that have a drop-off or pick-up located on Northwestern's Evanston campus.
  7. SafeRide will not accept rides on the Evanston Loop or Campus Loop Routes if the wait is greater than 40 mins.
  8. SafeRide will not pick up from bars or drop off at bars after 10pm.
  9. SafeRide will not schedule rides that result in a wait time in excess of 80 minutes.
  10. You must be on time for your pickup, other passengers are waiting so your car cannot wait more than three minutes.
  11. SafeRide reserves the right to refuse service in situations that place our drivers in danger. Examples of this may include drunk, disorderly or abusive passengers.
  12. SafeRide will charge $125.00 if you vomit in a SafeRide vehicle to cover the cost of cleaning the vehicle. Incidents involving vomiting in SafeRide vehicles are reported to the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution.
  13. SafeRide does not provide medical transport. If you need an ambulance please use one, for less serious medical problems please see Northwestern's policy on Medical Transport of Students.


  • Please be respectful to the driver, vehicle, and other passengers at all times.
  • Be ready to go when your vehicle arrives and enter and exit your vehicle promptly, every minute you keep our driver waiting is another minute the person after you has to wait.
  • Clean up after yourself. Do not leave any garbage in the vehicle and make sure you have all your possessions before exiting, especially your keys and cell phone.
  • If for whatever reason you can't make your pickup, please call us, to reschedule or cancel it. You can also use Text to cancel:847-497-0028. By not showing up you are wasting a ride that somebody else could have used.
  • If you are unsure of where or when your ride is scheduled for please call us back, we'll be more than happy to tell you.