Safe Ride launches new app, adds Brooklyn service

The free late-night shuttle service will now operate in both Manhattan and Brooklyn through a new, NYU-specific app.


(Kevin Wu for WSN, Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Adrianna Nehme, Deputy News Editor

NYU debuted a stand-alone app for Safe Ride — the university’s free late-night rideshare service — and added locations at the university’s Brooklyn campus on Jan. 22. The university also permanently changed the program’s start time to 11 p.m. after a successful pilot program that began in October 2022.

The new app was created in partnership with Via Transportation, a transit technology company that previously ran a Uber-style rideshare service. The company ended its public rideshare program in December 2021 to focus on providing private transportation services to companies, universities, and other types of communities. That year, Via began working with NYU on Safe Ride after the university stopped using Academy Bus, a charter bus service.

Earlier versions of Safe Ride used Via’s app and required both credit card information and an NYU-provided promotional code.

“The new booking interface — which is similar to Uber or Lyft — will not require a promo code or credit card, and will automatically include the 48 Safe Ride locations,” said Matt Shelosky, NYU’s associate director of communications and engagement.

Students can now request rides between the 48 Safe Ride locations, which include Bobst Library, the John A. Paulson Center and some city transit stations. The service is now available from 11 p.m to 7 a.m and can be accessed using the NYU Safe Ride app.

Riders can also choose from four new Brooklyn locations — 6 MetroTech, Othmer Hall, 370 Jay Street and the Clark Street residence hall — which were previously serviced by an NYU shuttle bus.

In fall 2022, Safe Ride wait times decreased by an average of four minutes, despite a 40% increase in ridership as compared to 2021. Despite these improvements, students continued to experience difficulties such as glitches and long wait times. 

CAS sophomore Oluwapelumi Adesiyan said that she had used Safe Ride occasionally during previous semesters, but was left frustrated with the service’s performance. Despite feeling optimistic about the changes, Adesiyan said she was skeptical of the university’s ability to maintain the efficiency of Safe Ride. 

“It’s good that they’re offering Safe Ride at an earlier time — things start to get dark around 4 or 5 p.m.,” Adesiyan said. “No one wants to be waiting around.”

Contact Adrianna Nehme at [email protected].