No Car? There’s an App for That

The digital age has a solution to almost every problem, including transportation for college students. These apps connect people with businesses that transport them to their destination.

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Photo by: Taylor Barnett

SLO Transit App

The SLO Transit app helps individuals understand the San Luis Obispo bus system. The app was developed to alleviate the uncertainty of the bus’ arrival and provides the schedules for all routes and stops in the city.

Nicole Whatley had to navigate the SLO transit system for her field study class. After researching the routes online, Whatley was still confused by the system and turned towards the app for assistance.

“It made everything so much easier because you just enter your destination and it gives you the next route to take. Ever since then, I feel confident enough to take the bus anywhere downtown,” said Whatley.

The app overlays the desired route on to a detailed map of the area. Each stop is signified by a large dot on the screen and when clicked on will provide the time for the next two times the bus will stop at that location. The app can be enabled to send alerts when the bus is nearing a particular stop.

Since it’s advent five years ago, the app has undergone modifications to enhance it’s design. “Over the years, we’ve continued to refine the app and enhance its usability,” said John Osumi, the CEO of Bishop Peak Technology, Inc.

SLO Safe Ride App

Another popular app utilized by the San Luis Obispo community is SLO Safe Ride. The app “uses on-demand drivers to pick you up from your current location,” according to Mike Linn, the owner and co-founder.

Photo by: Taylor Barnett

As a common choice for larger groups, SLO Safe Ride also accommodates charters. Charters can be arranged by calling and booking an appointment, while the more casual use of SLO Safe Ride can be arranged with the app. Linn clarified that the “nightlife app is mostly used to get people to and from downtown safely.”

SLO Safe Ride is similar to Uber because they both require the creation of a profile with a phone number and payment information.

Uber App

An increasingly popular app, Uber, is particularly prominent on Cal Poly’s campus. This app utilizes software to connect drivers with riders. The rider enters their location and is picked up by the nearest driver. UberX cars can accommodate four passengers, while UberXL can accommodate six passengers.

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Photo by: Taylor Barnett

Lee Anne Kromhout finds Uber convenient because she “can request one anywhere and at anytime.” Kromhout explained its beneficial to her independence without a car, but also sees how helpful it can be for students to get to their destinations safely.

“It’s also very safe for those who choose to go out but are not always capable of operating a vehicle if they have been drinking,” said Kromhout.

All of these apps are free to download and can make life without a car easier.


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