At Georgetown, the Department of Public Safety provides free escort van rides to students traveling to and from campus at night (known as “SafeRides”), as well as three shuttle loops which pick up from the main gates every 15 minutes or so. Since students never know for sure when one of the shuttles is due to arrive, they tend to rely on the personal escort vans for quick transport. Traditionally, requests have been made over the phone and are received by two dispatchers. As you can imagine, a university with over six thousand undergrads can generate a pretty high call volume, and wait times for individual escort vans sometimes exceed half an hour.
This mobile app is intended 1) to allow students to see how long they’ll have to wait for one of the loop shuttles, thus taking some of the load off of the individual escort vans, and 2) to allow ride requests to be made instantly, securely, and with a minimum of human error (no more unintelligible pickup locations).
This interface would be more or less the same on an iphone or an android-based device; small adjustments would be made for the droid’s typical hard-coded menu buttons. The native app carries the advantages of being location aware and having access to the phone’s number (collected automatically to provide the dispatchers with a number to call to communicate ride information if necessary), but a web app would be essentially identical.