11:30 AM

Ohio State students now have new late-night travel option

Lyft Ride Smart will provide discounted rides

Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State app

Students at The Ohio State University Columbus campus have a new late-night travel option. Lyft Ride Smart at Ohio State will launch Aug. 1, and provides discounted rides between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.

“This new service offering is a direct result of our work with the Undergraduate Student Government and adds a transportation option our students have been requesting for years,” said Beth Snoke, director of Transportation and Traffic Management.

Lyft Ride Smart replaces the university’s previous Safe Ride program after user demand outgrew service capacity.

“The new program will reduce wait times and allow Ohio State to serve a larger portion of our student population,” Snoke said.

Each month, 10,000 discounted rides will be made available to students on a first-come, first-served basis. Ohio State will contribute $5 per ride, and the remainder will be paid by the rider, with the average cost expected to be $2 or less. Once the monthly allotment of 10,000 discounted rides is exhausted, Lyft’s normal service rates will apply for the remainder of the month. Prices may be impacted by distance, traffic, time of day, special events and prime time rates. To qualify for program discounts, users must select “shared ride” when booking in the Lyft app.

“We [USG] believe this partnership provides students with a service-model that reflects their common means of transportation,” said USG President Kate Greer. “This resource will make ridesharing more accessible, and we really encourage all students to save their subsidized rides for situations when they feel unsafe walking home in the areas around campus.”

Safety remains Ohio State’s top priority and users are encouraged to keep their own safety in mind when using ridesharing by:

  • Following the vehicle on GPS via the app
  • Visually confirming vehicle info/descriptions matches information in the ridesharing app (license plate, model, etc.)
  • Matching the color: Most Lyft drivers have a dashboard display that acts as a beacon, changing color to match the rider’s app and help identify their Lyft more easily
  • Asking the driver to say who they are picking up
  • If you feel unsafe, leaving the area and contacting law enforcement

When using a program discount, only shared rides can be requested. To qualify for the discounted rate, all rides must start and end inside the designated service area:

  • North to Hudson Street
  • South to Fifth Avenue
  • East to Conrail railroad tracks (past North Fourth Street)
  • West to North Star Road
  • North boundary west of Olentangy River Road is Ackerman Road

Additional program information, including an FAQ, are available at ttm.osu.edu/ride-smart.