Students frustrated with ‘hit or miss’ Dawg Ride

Dawg Ride’s mountain of issues continues. Photo courtesy of @butleru on X.  


As the 2023-24 school year stretches into winter, students have expressed disappointment in Dawg Ride’s services. Text messages being ignored, extremely long wait times and confused drivers are chief among the complaints, verbalized most frequently by first-year students. 

Sami Mullett, a first-year psychology and Spanish double major, was forced to step up as a more reliable chauffeur for her friends in light of these issues. 

“Because of Dawg Ride being so inconsistent, I’ve been the Dawg Ride for my friends who are in T-3 and I lot,” Mullett said. “ … [My suitemate will] text me and be like, ‘Hey, if Dawg Ride doesn’t get me in 30 minutes, can you come get me?’ And I get her most of the time.” 

Hana Craig, a first-year organizational communication and leadership major, utilizes Dawg Ride frequently and has had a similar experience. 

“Half the time there’s a response, and half the time there’s not,” Craig said. “It’s very hit or miss.” 

Craig pinpointed specific drivers as the cause of these issues. 

“There’s certain drivers who are really good, responding within three minutes,” Craig said. “And then there’s other drivers who just show up or don’t show up.” 

John Conley, chief of public safety for the Butler University Police Department (BUPD), expressed similar concern for the Dawg Ride drivers in an email to The Butler Collegian. 

Conley explained that Butler’s old system for Dawg Ride, an app used to request services from an outside vendor called Tap Ride, was being shut down by the company. The cost of the upgraded version of the app was incredibly expensive, so to avoid extra costs, Butler designed its own text message-based system using their new Ring Central phone system. This new system has presented several obstacles. 

“We had some challenges early on with the fact that we also use an outside contractor [for the drivers], CSC Security, who had to be trained on how the new system worked, and at times, we got a new driver for the night that was not familiar with it,” Conley said in his email. “We have been working, trying to find consistency with drivers and training to get over this hump.” 

Despite BUPD’s best efforts to train drivers, students still recognize the need for Dawg Ride to be improved. 

“It’s something that students want to be able to use because people don’t really want to walk from I lot to the campus, especially when it’s the winter,” Mullett said. “So I do think having a consistent Dawg Ride might be an important thing for students here at Butler.” 

Difficulties with Dawg Ride are a recurring theme, as vehicle shut downs and sexual harassment claims against a driver have plagued the resource in the past. 

In order to improve Dawg Ride, Conley advises students who experience problems to contact dispatch at 317-940-9396 and ask to speak to a supervisor. 


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