NJIT recently partnered with Lyft, an on-demand ridesharing service, to “promote late night transportation convenience and safety for students” according to an email sent by the NJIT Transportation Department to students. This is an initiative the Student Senate has been working on throughout the semester.
Lauren Azer, the Senate Vice President of Student Affairs and second-year biomedical engineering major, has worked closely with this project.
“The Student Senate has been hearing a lot of concerns mainly regarding the safety for commuter students who take public transportation within late hours,” she said. “Hillier College of Architecture and Design students especially spend hours in their studio working on projects and can be in the building until 3 or even 4 a.m.”
The Senate considered the university’s Department of Public Safety giving rides to students, but “it wasn’t feasible because of the cost to pay public safety officers overtime pay as well as the logistics of how many cars and drivers they would need,” Azer explained.
A representative of Lyft contacted Azer and Senate President Anuja Badeti to schedule a meeting about a Smart Ride Program to implement on campus. NJIT administrators, Badeti and Azer met with the representative and discussed logistics, ultimately selecting it as the most ideal option.
“The Lyft representatives mentioned a silent in-app feature that allows a rider to contact 911 directly if they find themselves in an emergency. The app is programmed to send ‘Smartrip Check In’ notifications, to which the rider can respond to ensure their safety,” Azer mentioned. “This program was implemented by the university for the safety and comfort of the students in the late-night hours and has already proven to be successful.”
The initiative began on Nov. 15 and is planned to go until May 15, 2022 as long as the program cap is not reached. Right now, it is available for all students to use, but the Senate is working towards the entire campus being able to utilize this service.
For more information, visit https://www.njit.edu/parking/late-night-lyft-program. Eligible students should have received an email from Lyft inviting them to join the program. If anyone did not receive the invite, they should reach out to the NJIT Parking and Transportation Department at ParkingSystem@njit.edu.