A ridesharing app designed for the University of Connecticut Storrs campus, GogoDoggo, is in its final stages to be released in the Apple App Store.
Andi Duro, GogoDoggo’s founder and UConn fifth-semester computer science major, said the app is aimed for the UConn population with its affordable prices and specific university locations pre-programmed. All rides on campus will be $1 per head. For every mile off-campus, an additional dollar will be added to the bill.
“GogoDoggo is a ridesharing app like Uber made specifically for UConn students’ needs in mind,” Duro said. “The goal was to democratize the sober rides experience so that any student on or near campus could access on-demand transportation without having to deal with vehicle ownership.”
Once the app is live, anyone interested will have to register and make an account, Duro said. After GogoDoggo hits 300 users, the rides will begin.
Duro said he made the app and the backend platform during summer 2019 but he has had the idea since he was a freshman in 2017. He said that he created the app to make use of all the cars that are already on-campus and create some part-time jobs.
“So the way I see it, we have thousands of kids who bring cars on campus that take up space, pollute the air and sit idle for 90% of the day, just to transport one single individual,” Duro said. “If a community ridesharing solution existed, those commuters could drive other kids around, make money to help pay off their vehicle expenses and generally help out the community to offset all of the negatives their vehicles bring while also helping themselves.”
GogoDoggo, in its current beta phase, has over 40 pre-programmed UConn based stops, including dorms, dining halls and commuter parking lots, Duro said. During the first few weeks, more locations may be added.
If a person, whether it be an undergraduate student or UConn faculty, wants a ride, the first thing they will need to do is make an account, Duro said. Once the account is made, they can begin to request rides and the app will generate the nearest pickup stop to eliminate confusion between riders and drivers.
“When you request a ride, you can choose how many people are riding with you, what payment method you are using and your mood preferences [such as] talkative or quiet,” Duro said. “The system then uses an algorithm to pair you with the best driver for your ride and from there you simply wait for your driver, get in and drive off.”
A plus to GogoDoggo is that they will accept drunk riders, Duro said. He hopes the app’s lower prices will motivate drunk riders to utilize a safe and reliable option in order to get home.
“There is a bar literally in the heart of campus with tons of drunk students who could do with help back to their dorms or apartments,” Duro said. “That all being said, students will be held responsible for their actions, so if someone throws up in the back of a driver’s car, they’ll of course have to pay up or get blocked from using the app.”
If someone wants to become a driver, they must pass specific driver and vehicle requirements, according to the GogoDoggo website. Some requirements include having a valid driver’s license and insurance, passing a driving test and completing a geography test of Storrs campus and labeling academic, residential and other types of buildings.
Payment methods for GogoDoggo include cash, Venmo and referrals called “treats,” Duro said. A user gets “treats” when they refer the app to a friend and the friend uses GogoDoggo. In return, the initial user will get one treat, or $1 worth of credit, to pay for a future ride.
Duro said that he suggests that people should sign up right away and refer their friends in order “to make the magic happen” and have the rides begin.
“Anyone who hates walking in the rain or in the cold will benefit from this app,” Duro said. “Anyone who wants a ride to Storrs Center or outside of campus, up to a five-mile radius, will have a new option they can take to get to where they want with zero hassle.”
Students can visit https://gogo.dog to sign up and receive an email when the app goes live.
Rachel Philipson is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.