Beginning in January 2023, the LIMO transportation program will become EagleExpress as the service launches a new app, powered by technology from Via, the global leader in TransitTech, to improve the rider experience, increase operational efficiencies and enhance campus safety measures. The new EagleExpress service will be active for the spring 2023 semester with EagleExpress vans wrapped in navy, gold and white.
Through the free EagleExpress app, which will be available for iOS and Android smartphones, students can easily request a safe rideshare, view EagleExpress rideshare options and approximate wait times, and track their EagleExpress rides. Anyone with a valid Marquette email address will be able to sign up for EagleExpress, create a profile in the app and book rides for themselves or small groups up to four people. The app will notify riders when the EagleExpress van is five minutes from the pick-up location, and users will receive a text when the vehicle arrives.
Like its LIMO predecessor, EagleExpress will keep the Marquette community safe at night by providing free shared rides daily from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. The door-to-door service will function similarly to other common rideshare services, but EagleExpress rides will be restricted to routes that start and end in the campus area. The two approved off-campus locations to which EagleExpress will transport passengers are Milwaukee Intermodal Station (Amtrak) and the Eleven25 at Pabst apartments.
“EagleExpress brings our free campus transportation service into a new era with an app experience already familiar to students and a technology platform that transforms university transportation,” says Joel Pogodzinski, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “EagleExpress will use Via’s AI-based routing algorithms, which will make pick-ups and drop-offs more efficient than before.”
Improved campus transportation was a priority for the President’s Task Force on Community Safety. In addition to hiring more LIMO drivers, the task force also committed to reimagining campus transportation by identifying options for modernizing operations and improving the student experience – both for riders and drivers. When the program began, LIMO was the first program of its kind in the country and has transported more than 10 million members of the Marquette community since 1986.
“Our student-run campus transportation service has been a point of pride for decades, which is why we invested in this technology to modernize it,” says Pogodzinski. “We are thrilled to launch EagleExpress to enhance the student transportation experience, improved campus safety and increase university efficiencies.”
Drivers will be dispatched directly via mounted smartphones in the vehicles, and the app will provide automated updates for riders for more efficient pick-ups and drop-offs. This helps increase the total number of free rides provided for students while cutting down on wait times.
The app will be available in early January. More information about the app and sign-up process will be shared in Marquette Today closer to the EagleExpress launch.
In the meantime, LIMO remains active for the fall semester with 40 drivers and seven vans providing service. Call dispatch at (414) 288-6363 to request a ride.