New app to help cash-strapped students get home late at night

A new app went live in Cork last night to ensure that cash-strapped college students will never be stuck for a cab ride home again.

The Project Dash (Driving All Students Home) is designed by NUI Galway students. It allows students to get taxis even when they have no cash, bank card or phone. Thousands of college students and some taxi firms have registered for the service since it was launched in Galway and Carlow.

Richie Commins, a final year business information systems student at NUI Galway who led the development of the project, was at UCC yesterday as part of a roll-out of the initiative.

He said Dash started as a college project to a find a solution to a student problem.

“After extensive research into tragic incidents that occurred, it was discovered that many happen late at night while students commute on foot,” he said.

“We spent weeks developing and testing the service before formally launching it.

“This campaign aims to swarm campuses and make taxis more accessible for students no matter where they are in the country, especially in the worst of situations.”

Students can sign up for free at www.projectdash.ie, upload an ID photo of themselves, add a bank card to pay for emergency taxis, and create a four-digit Pin.

The students then simply tell the taxi driver their name and Dash Pin, which allows the driver to check their account on a driver app. The driver then uses the photo to verify the fare, before the app processes the payment upon arrival at the destination. “It was great to get so much help and co-operation from everyone in Cork,” Mr Commins said.

“We got a brilliant response from the taxi companies and are delighted to bring our project here. The students in Cork will be able to use Dash here and, in the near future, everywhere else in the country,” he said.

Cork Taxi Co op and ABC Taxis have signed up.

Cork Taxi Co-Op’s Colin O’Mara said: “We are delighted to work with Richie and Project Dash to ensure the students of UCC make it home safe and sound.”

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