RamRide’s new app tracks users with GPS technology

Zane Watson

With the highly anticipated launch of the Colorado State University RamRide smartphone app, the nation’s largest student-run safe-ride program can now locate students with the drop of a pin.

RamRide released the newest team member in the form of a smartphone application March 25. The app makes getting a ride home after a long night in Fort Collins more accessible for students.

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With GPS technology, the app locates students through a simple interface utilizing Google Maps. Students put personal information in the app when registering for the service. After contact information is saved, students then drag and drop a pin on their desired location of pickup. If a student changes their mind, they can cancel the ride with one click within the app instead of having to call and speak to a dispatcher.

Ted Fetterling, RamRide’s night operations coordinator, has had problems with loud phone calls and being unable to communicate with patrons needing service. With many phone calls coming in during hours of operation, Fetterling said he believes the app is being put to good use.

“All the loud phone calls we get where we can’t communicate with the students isn’t efficient,” Fetterling said. “I think the app is a great idea because it removes the error in communication.”

Marketing Manger Shaun Granmoe also anticipates higher efficiency for dispatchers.

“By providing convenient service, we can get all the correct information, which will make us more efficient,” Granmoe said.

Campus servers crashed during RamRide operations Friday night, disallowing successful utilization and data collection of the app’s use. The crash made RamRide revert back to their old system which accepts ride requests via email.

According to Ryan Whitney, RamRide’s public relations manager, the app shows up as a different color in the dispatch system and about 10 rides a night were requested via smartphone before the crash. He said the app should be fully functional at the start of fall 2015.

“I see the app being the primary means of requesting RamRide (services),” Whitney said. “We are trying to promote the app so that students can use it next school year.”

Sara Williams, executive director for RamRide, said the app should allow everyone to get through when the phone lines are busy. The system will keep all the requests along with patron information in a database to help with the large number of calls received.

“We want to make RamRide more accessible to students,” Williams said. “With the app, more people will be able to get through to our services.”

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RimRide employees are not the only ones who like the added benefits of the safe-ride programs app.

CSU freshman Jaysen Yakobson has had trouble with successfully contacting RamRide in the past. He said he believes the app to be advantageous for students trying to get a ride home.

“I’ve called at least an hour before they stopped service before, but I guess so many calls were going through I wasn’t able to get a ride,” Yakobson said. “This app is going to make things a lot more convenient for me and all other students.”

Collegian Reporter Zane Watson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @zanerwatson.