More FAQs

Can anybody use Safe Ride?

Use of Safe Ride is limited to Northwestern faculty, staff and students - you have to have a Wildcard to get a ride. Because we're a safety service rather than a taxi service, we cannot accept ride requests from parties larger than three. Please consider other options such as walking as a group or Northwestern's shuttle service.

How do I request a Safe Ride?

The fastest and easiest way to request a Safe Ride is through the TransLoc Rider app. Download the app on your smartphone and create an account using these directions. Once you're ready, use the small grey person-in-seat icon on the bottom left corner of the app to begin requesting your ride.


If you don't have a smartphone, call the dispatch office at 847-491-7000. We will answer your call as quickly as we can, but due to call volume, your call may be placed on hold briefly. Please stay on the line and our dispatcher will be with you soon. The dispatcher will ask you for your netID, location, destination, and the number of riders. Make sure you give your netID and not a friends. The Dispatcher will give you an estimated time of arrival. Please note: call traffic is highest right at the beginning of the shift and between 10pm and midnight.

How long does it take to get a ride?
Safe Ride wait times can vary widely based on a myriad of conditions from campus events to weather to call distribution. An average wait is about 10-15 minutes, but wait times tend to be longer in general on weekends, and nightly between 10pm and Midnight. During adverse weather conditions such as rain, snow, or extremely low temperatures wait times can be much longer, so plan accordingly. The average wait during a busy period is 20-25 minutes.
Where do I go for my pickup?
Safe Ride always attempts to pickup as close to your location as we can. For a list of established pickup locations, please see our Pickup Locations page. If you are unsure about where to wait, please don't hesitate to call our dispatcher and ask - they would be more than happy to let you know.
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 TransLoc to call your ride, you can cancel through the app, but if you called the office, please call back to let the dispatcher know. If you miss your ride for any reason other than driver error, you'll have to schedule a new ride. (If you miss your ride due to driver error, call us - we'll do whatever we can to minimize your additional wait time.)
How will I know when my car arrives?

Safe Ride does not call you when your car arrives. The TransLoc app will send you a text message if you provided a phone number, but if you don't have cell service, you may not receive the message. Please be outside or within visual range of the pickup location at the time of your estimate.

Safe Ride vehicles are easy to spot: a white Prius with moving amber lights mounted on the roof. All of our cars are marked with Safe Ride logos and their own individual car number. If you don't see your car but you think it's arrived, call the dispatch office at 847-491-7000. Due to our demand, as well as rides being shared, we cannot keep other passengers waiting - your driver will only wait for three minutes before reporting you a no-show.

I'm 21 and I picked up beer with my groceries, can I get a Safe Ride?

Safe Ride will not transport any alcoholic beverages. We recommend that you call a Taxi.

Best Taxi: 847-864-2500, Northshore Cab: 847-864-7500

Can I use my computer to call a Safe Ride?
Yes! Just use your browser to go to
What do I do if I can’t find my driver?

Give dispatch a call at 847-491-7000. They can communicate with your driver to make sure you’re able to meet up.

What happens if I vomit in a Safe Ride car?
Safe Ride will charge $125.00 to cover the cost of cleaning the vehicle. Incidents involving vomiting in Safe Ride vehicles are reported to the Office of Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution.
My phone died! Is my ride canceled?

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.

My ride was canceled due to high wait/I was referred to the shuttle route. Now what?
Check out some other transportation options here.
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. 

I think I left something in the car. Is there a lost and found?

Yes! It’s located in our office. If you just lost the item, make a note of your car number and/or driver’s name if you can. Call dispatch at 847-491-7000 and describe in detail the item that you lost. If we have it, the dispatcher will help you arrange a pickup.