Northeastern Offers On-Demand Night Shuttle Using Via Technology

During the 2018-2019 academic year, more than 3,300 students used the service, which is managed by the Northeastern University Police Department.

Via, a leading provider and developer of on-demand public mobility solutions, announces Boston-based Northeastern University will use its technology to power its free ride-sharing service for students.

The RedEye Safety Escort, which is managed by the Northeastern University Police Department, offers daily pickups every half-hour at the campus library from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. It is available to students who live off-campus and within a two-mile radius of the school’s campus center.

Riders can download the school’s customized RedEye app to hail the safety escort van directly from their smartphone. Its algorithm enables multiple passengers who are headed in the same direction to be booked into a shared vehicle, says Northeastern Police Staff Sgt. John Farrell.

“We optimize the routing so that we’re able to deliver them very quickly,” says Dillon Twombly, chief revenue officer at Via. “At the same time, we’re reducing congestion, reducing emissions, and facilitating an efficient service for the students to get home.”

Via, which first launched in New York City in September 2013, offers ride-sharing services in 80 cities across 20 countries and has provided more than 60 million rides to date, according to the company. Its Data Science Team analyzes performance measures to enhance the quality of service and proactively suggests adjustments to individualized service models.

More than 3,300 Northeastern students used the service over 45,000 rides during the 2018-2019 academic year. Farrell expects those numbers to rise this year now that the campus transitioned to Via’s technology from a previous provider.

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