UO launches Duck Rides, a modified shared ride service

Duck Rides van

A new service, Duck Rides, will launch at the start of fall term to provide safe, essential transportation to UO students, faculty members and staff.

Duck Rides will operate as a partnership of the university’s existing student ride services — Safe Ride, Designated Driver Shuttle and Campus Shuttle — and will replace them as an adjustment to COVID-19. The new shuttle service will run with modified operations and hours to help protect the health and safety of passengers and drivers during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

“The student workers and program leaders of our existing programs are working together to launch Duck Rides,” said Duck Rides manager Ashley Dougherty. “We’re committed to providing as many safe, friendly and necessary rides as possible within the limitations placed on us by COVID-19.”

The service will comply with federal, state, and local health and safety guidelines by significantly limiting ridership in vehicles, requiring riders and drivers to wear face coverings at all times, placing plastic plexiglass between the driver and passenger spaces, cleaning each passenger’s personal area with wipes after each ride, and disinfecting vans at the end of every night with the Clorox 360 System.

Duck Rides will offer rides between 5:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. every day. All rides will be limited to a maximum of two passengers.

The service will use a hybrid scheduling system, with some vans reserved for scheduled rides and some reserved for on-demand service. Students can request a scheduled ride before business hours by leaving a voicemail. They can also call during Duck Rides’ hours of operation and speak with a dispatcher to request a ride or a reservation, as available. 

The primary goal of Duck Rides is to provide an option for students and employees for essential transportation. While the service will not designate specific locations as essential, vans will not take students to locations of known parties or social gatherings. They will also not take students to bars or restaurants.

“Duck Rides will strive to service our community to the best of our ability while upholding high standards of social responsibility,” Dougherty said.

Duck Rides services will begin on the first day of fall term, Tuesday, Sept. 29. For more information, visit duckrides.uoregon.edu.