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Safe Ride FAQs & Policies


To contact Safe Ride, email or call 224.267.9842.

Regulations, Policies & Etiquette

Regulations & Policies

Safe Ride will only perform pick-ups and drop-offs at certain locations and within pre-defined boundaries. For more information, visit Coverage Area above .

There are also regulations and etiquette that pertain to receiving a Safe Ride. 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.

Safe Ride is a safety service not a taxi.
  1. Safe Ride will only serve private rides. This means that you will not share a ride with other students unless you are booking in the same party as +1 types.
  2. We allow a maximum of three students from the same booking in one vehicle.
  3. Before boarding the van, students are required to show a cleared for campus screen in their symptom tracker app to drivers. Please follow this link to learn more about the symptom tracker app.
  4. You may not eat or drink in the Safe Ride vehicle.
  5. Safe Ride will not accept advance reservations, all rides are dispatched on a first-come, first-serve basis.
  6. Safe Ride doesn't allow scheduled destinations to be changed after being picked-up.
  7. Safe Ride will not transport you beyond our transportation boundaries (see Coverage Area above).
  8. Safe Ride will not provide rides for less than 3 blocks.
  9. Safe Ride will only provide rides that have a drop-off or pick-up located on Northwestern's Evanston campus.
  10. Safe Ride will not schedule rides that result  in a wait time in excess of 90 mins.
  11. You must be on time for your pickup, other passengers are waiting so your car cannot wait more than two minutes.
  12. Safe Ride reserves the right to refuse service in situations that place our driver partners or other passengers in danger. Examples of this may include intoxicated, disorderly or abusive passengers.
  13. Safe Ride will charge $100.00 if a passenger vomits in a Safe Ride vehicle to cover the cost of cleaning the vehicle.
  14. Medical Transport: Any student requiring emergency medical transport for a serious medical condition should call 911 immediately to be transported by ambulance. It is not appropriate to take the Northwestern Shuttle system or Safe Ride in serious or urgent medical situations. 


  • Please be respectful to the driver, vehicle, and other passengers at all times.
  • You may not eat or drink in the Safe Ride vehicle.
  • Be ready to go when your vehicle arrives and enter and exit your vehicle promptly - it helps us keep our wait time down.
  • Clean up after yourself. Please don't leave any garbage in the vehicle.
  • Check to make sure you have all your possessions before exiting the vehicle, especially your keys and cell phone.
  • If for whatever reason you can't make your pick-up, please cancel through the Via rider app. If you requested a ride through text or phone, please contact that channel to cancel. Since we're a ride-sharing service, we want to give your seat to someone else if you can't make it.
  • If you are unsure of where or when your pick-up will be, please check the Via app for a pick-up location and ETA.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can anyone use Safe Ride?

Use of Safe Ride is limited to eligible Northwestern students and requires a Northwestern NetID to download and access the app

Because Safe Ride is intended to provide rides to/from campus at night rather than act as a taxi service, Safe Ride cannot accept ride requests from parties larger than two. Please consider other options such as walking as a group or Northwestern's shuttle service.

Can I still use Safe Ride if I don't have a smartphone?

If you don't have a smartphone, call  (224) 267-9842 for booking help. We will respond as quickly as we can, but due to call volume, it may take a few minutes to receive a response. The dispatcher will ask you for your phone number, origin location, destination, and the number of riders. The dispatcher will give you an estimated time of arrival and a pickup location.

Can I use my computer to call Safe Ride?

No, request a Safe Ride through the Via rider app for the smoothest experience, or call (224) 267-9842.

What are the requirements to get a ride?

Safe Ride operations daily 7:00 PM - 3:00 AM, when classes are in session. 

Safe Ride provides service to Northwestern's Evanston campus and the surrounding area, and must have either a pickup or drop-off at designated campus buildings. 

The service zone includes Evanston from Central Street (north boundary) to Oakton Street/South Boulevard (south boundary) and Green Bay Road/Ashland Avenue (west boundary) to Lake Michigan. See a map of our coverage area.

What are my other options for transportation if my Safe Ride request is not eligible?

Consider Northwestern's free shuttle service as an alternative or supplement to Safe Ride. The Evanston Loop and Campus Loop shuttles run at night through the Evanston Campus. Other public transit options include CTA "L" trains, Pace buses and Metra commuter trains. Several taxi companies also provide service in Evanston.

Visit the University's Transportation Website

Any student requiring emergency medical transport for a serious medical condition should call 911 immediately to be transported by ambulance. It is not appropriate to take the Northwestern Shuttle system or Safe Ride in serious or urgent medical situations. 

How do I set pick-up and drop-off locations on the app?

  • Step 1
    • Move the map until the blue marker is at your desired pick-up location and press "Set Pickup." You can also manually type your address in the search bar and select the correct one from the drop down.
  • Step 2
    • Move the map until the orange marker is at your desired drop-off location and press
    • "Set Drop Off." You can also manually type your address in the search bar and select the correct one from the drop down. Safe Ride will check for available vehicles and connect you with the best vehicle for your ride.
  • Step 3
    • Review the ride offer in the proposal screen (you may receive several proposals with different ETAs and different ride options). Select the one that works best for you and press "Book This Ride."
    • All the details, including exact pick up location (remember it may not be where you booked) and information on the car picking you up, will then be displayed.

Sweet! You’ve just booked a Safe Ride.

How long does it take to get a ride?

Safe Ride wait times can vary depending on multiple conditions. We recommend always checking the Safe Ride app to see the most accurate expected wait times.

Where do I go for my pick-up?

Safe Ride pick-ups or drop-offs will always be close by (in front of the requested address, the nearest corner, or at a designated on-campus location). However, note that due to road access and safety concerns, some pickups may be a short distance away.

Please check the Safe Ride app for your exact pickup location and walking instructions to this location. If you are unsure about where to wait, or if you can't locate your driver, please don't hesitate to call Live Support at (224) 267-9842. You can also contact a live support agent through in app texting. 

My ride doesn't meet the requirements. What can I do?

If either your pickup or drop-off is supposed to be a campus building, check the address again. You should also check out the university shuttle routes if you haven’t yet – they are designed to stop in the most popular areas students travel to and from. You may have to use a combination of a Safe Ride and a shuttle to get where you're going. 

What happens if I can't make my ride?

If you know you can't make your ride, please let us know so that we can give another passenger a ride in your place. If you used the Safe Ride app to request your ride, you can cancel through the app, but if you called to request, please call back to let the dispatcher know.

How will I know when my car arrives?

Safe Ride does not call you when your car arrives. The Safe Ride app will send you a notification when your vehicle is two minutes away, and a text when the vehicle is at the pickup location. Please be outside or within visual range of the pickup location at the time of your estimate.

Safe Ride vehicles will be encouraged to display the Northwestern Safe Ride logo on them, and you should confirm the vehicle type and plate number in the Safe Ride app. If you don't see your car and the app is indicating your vehicle is at the pickup, you can call the driver directly to coordinate. Due to high demand, as well as rides Safe Rides being shared with other NU students, we cannot keep other passengers waiting - your driver will only wait for two minutes before reporting you as a no-show. 

What should I do if I can't find my driver?

You can call your driver directly through the app to coordinate your pickup.

My phone died! Is my ride cancelled?

Nope! You just won’t be able to receive notifications when your ride arrives, so you’ll have to be ready and waiting near your pickup. You may also want to text the Live Support to request an ETA for your vehicle.

I think I left something in the car, is there a lost and found?

Yes! If you just lost the item, be sure to make a note of your car plate number and/or driver’s name. Contact Support using the Help Center in the Safe Ride app. If the driver found your item, Support will help coordinate its return.

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