By NORA THOMPSON
Students living on the Southeast side or near Vail are eligible for a free ride through a government funded ride-sharing app.
Like Uber or Lyft, Amore Tucson will pick up single riders and take them to a desired location within its service area.
“The Amore program specifically is designed for what’s called mobility as a service,” said Amore Project Director Josh McGinnis. “Users can download the app, and it would provide them a way to do a lot of the things you’d have to do to use public transportation, trip planning, scheduling, payment methods and hailing, in one or two integrated apps.”
“Right now that service is free,” McGinnis said. “It’s free with an asterisk because we’re asking the users at this stage to provide us with feedback via surveys.”
The service area runs through Civano, parts of Vail, Rita Ranch and to the East Campus.
The federal transit administration put out a request for a grant for proposals that were looking to extend public transit.
“First mile/last mile quote,” McGinnis said.
The service is masterminded by Yi-Chang Chiu, a professor at the University of Arizona and the creator of Metropia, a navigation app that aims to reduce congestion. Chiu needed a governmental entity behind him in order to obtain grant funding so he reached out to the Regional transit authority.
Currently, the program is in its early stages, in fact they are using the popular gaming app Discord for their communication platform.
Amore is still making updates, with the next one being that the system will go from single riders to multiple riders in September. By October, Amore hopes to have the app available in the app store for download.
Drivers for Amore are paid hourly, instead of by the mile like other ridesharing apps, along with that, they are all fingerprinted, have gone through background checks and have a clean driving record.
Pima students that want to use the service go to Amore’s website at www.amoretucson.com and send them a message, get permission to download the app and start using their transit hailing service, provided they fill out a survey when they’re done.