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UA freshman developing student-based ride-share app

PHOENIX — As ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft continue to grow in popularity, a University of Arizona student has come up with his own ridesharing mobile app.

Nicholas Vale, a freshman at UA, said his app, HitcHike, is a student-only ridesharing app that people can use to catch rides with others heading their direction.

“You’re going to have to have a university .edu email address to create an account in the app,” he said. “Once you create your account, you’ll be able to either view what called ‘hitches,’ (which) are basically rides that someone has posted, or post one.”

When posting a “hitch,” Vale said students can specify what university they are from, where they are planning to travel, the date of departure and how much gas money they would like to receive. Other students who might want to come along can reserve a seat in exchange for helping to cover the cost of the trip.

Vale said he came up with the idea to find a better way to visit his girlfriend, who attends Northern Arizona State University in Flagstaff, roughly five hours from UA.

“We were talking on how we were going to visit each other and I thought of an idea of people who can post a ride and basically share a ride with someone,” he said.

HitcHike would act as a middle-man during transactions that are paid through the mobile app, Vale said. No money is transferred to the driver until users confirm they are in the car and accept the trip.

Vale said HitcHike is free to download and sign up, but the company will take a 10 percent cut of the money transferred between users.

The app is still being built and Vale said he expects development to be complete by mid-November.