After a night in Downtown Binghamton, catching a cab back to campus can be a difficult process. Aiming to make that process easier, a new app that originated at Cornell University launched at Binghamton University on Tuesday.
RedRoute was created by three students at Cornell this past March and has since spread to Syracuse University, SUNY Oneonta and now BU. Available in the iTunes App Store, the app works similarly to Uber: Users can request a taxi based on location, and are given the option to pay the driver through the app.
Taxi cabs are run by independent companies in Binghamton, making the process of signing up each individual company difficult for RedRoute. As of now, the app has partnered with Yellow Cab of Binghamton, Binghamton’s largest taxi operator, but no other companies.
According to Brian Schiff, a junior at Cornell and one of the creators of the app, the idea came about casually.
“It was a few hall-mates with an idea to solve a problem in their own lives,” Schiff wrote in an email. “We were not satisfied with the current transportation options at Cornell, and were convinced that in such a rapidly evolving industry, there would be an opportunity to offer an improved solution.”
Bruce Wilcox, the manager of Yellow Cab of Binghamton, said there is a lot of competition between companies and that he hopes the app will stand out to students.
“If you use a system like RedRoute, you know what cab you’re getting in because you know what the car and driver look like,” Wilcox said. “It gives everyone a better sense of what is going on and is much more organized.”
Since its launch, Schiff said RedRoute has gained thousands of users and coordinated hundreds of rides. He said that he believes it has begun to be picked up by students at BU.
“We have seen great pickup so far in Binghamton with tons of sign ups in these past few days,” Schiff wrote. “I’m hoping that students get an easier and more enjoyable experience out of the app.”
Rebecca Wolf, the ambassador for RedRoute at BU and a junior majoring in human development, said she felt that the app is a convenient and reliable system for students to use.
“Finally we have a system for reliable cabs, much like Uber has provided so many people,” Wolf said. “There is no need to bring $8 in cash to pay for cabs to and from campus anymore, and no increased charges at odd hours of the day. This is the future of transportation for Binghamton students.”