DASH app ensures all students get safely home

Representatives from An Garda Siochana, Galway Taxis, Pro Cabs, City Cabs and Big O Taxis, GMIT, Rape Crisis, and NUI Galway Student's Union with the DASH team at the official launch of projectdash.ie on NUI Galway Campus last week.

A Galway tech student has come up with an app to ensure that students get safely home at night – even if they are without cash or their bank card.

DASH – which stands for ‘Driving All Students Home’ – had its official launch in Galway City last week; it is the brainchild of NUIG Business Information Systems student Richie Commins.

Richie, who is from Claregalway, came up with the idea after frequently hearing of situations where students would end up without the means to get a taxi home come the end of a night out.

“I know from my own time as a student, I’d sometimes be stuck for a way to get home at night, and a lot of other students would find the same thing,” Richie said.

“In third-year, we had a project due that asked us to address a student problem, and I already had this idea in my head, to find a way for students to get home safely, even if they’ve no money with them. So I started developing it further then,” he added.

Richie then conducted research into this issue of student safety with the NUI Galway Student’s Union.

“We asked questions about how often students would get taxis, how often their phone dies on a night out, whether or not they ever set money aside for a taxi home, and how safe they would feel coming home at night.

“It was clear from the responses we got that there was a need for a platform like this,” he said.

To use DASH, students simply sign up at www.projectdash.ie.

Once registered, they upload a photo of themselves, along with their bank card details, to the DASH system.

If the student needs to secure a taxi, they give their name and four-digit pin to a taxi driver, who confirms their identity and payment method through the DASH app, and brings them home at no extra charge. Payment is processed when the student has arrived at their destination.

With the help of NUI Galway SU, Richie was able to sign up hundreds of students to test the prototype version of the app with three local taxi companies – Big O Taxis, Galway Taxis and Pro Cabs.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.