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Can anyone use Safe Ride?

Use of Safe Ride is limited to eligible Northwestern students. You have to log in with your NetID to access the platform. In order to receive a ride, download the Safe Ride app and login with the Northwestern NetID & Password.

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.

How do I download the Safe Ride app?

Follow the instructions on the Download the App page.


How do I request a Safe Ride?

Follow the instructions on the Request a Ride page

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.

How do I set pickup 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.

When does Safe Ride operate?

Information about Safe Ride operating hours is available on the Safe Ride Hours page.

Where does Safe Ride operate?

Information about the Safe Ride service area is available on the Coverage Area page.

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.

How long does it take to get a ride?

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

What are the requirements to get a ride?

Safe Ride operations daily 7:00pm - 3:00am, 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.

Where do I go for my pick-up?

Safe Ride pickups 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 Via 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 Via 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 Via 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 Via 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 Via Support using the Help Center in the Safe Ride app. If the driver found your item, Via Support will help coordinate its return.

What happens if I vomit in a Safe Ride car?

Via will charge $100.00 to cover the cost of cleaning the vehicle. 

What measures is Safe Ride taking to lessen risk of COVID-19 exposure?

These days, a safe ride means so much more than simply arriving at your destination without incident. We're going long on safety to make certain that the next ride you take is as safe and worry-free as possible.

Here are a few safety measures we’ve put in place: 
  • We’re using in-app wellness checks to make sure riders and drivers are symptom-free and ready to ride before they get going — please stay home if you have either been diagnosed with COVID-19, think you’re exhibiting symptoms, or have been in contact with someone who has recently tested positive.
  • All rides will be single rider only.
  • While we manage vehicle capacity in accordance with local guidelines, we’d love your help — please avoid sitting in the seat immediately adjacent to the driver. Always enter through the rear doors, and in vehicles with automatic doors, please wait for the driver to open and close the door to avoid touching the handles. 
  • Everyone on board will be required to wear a mask or face covering, so think of your mask as your favorite new accessory, the one you can’t leave the house without. If you forget it, your driver can refuse to pick you up. 
  • Before boarding a safe ride vehicle, students have to show driver partners a “Cleared for Campus” indicator on the Northwestern Symptom Tracker app.  If you do not have a smartphone, students must show a print out of the “Cleared for Campus” indicator from the symptom tracker  web site.
  • We’re increasing the frequency of professional vehicle cleanings and are making EPA-approved cleaning supplies available to drivers and advising them to perform frequent and thorough wipedowns of the entire interior, with extra focus on common surfaces. We’re also installing plastic partitions in all vehicles.