Photo courtesy of Alex Belov

Getting an Uber to navigate the city of Atlanta alone can be expensive, especially for college students. The FareShare app, developed by Emory University students with that concern in mind, can help students cut down on transportation costs by finding other passengers who could share the ride with them.

A team of Emory students plan to launch the app in fall 2023 to help students find matches to share Ubers to any desired destination. The team has seven members: Cole Smith (24C), Will Theodore (24C), Emma Klein (23C), Jordan Leslie (24C), Sam Essenfeld (23C), Alex Kershaw (24C) and Maya Thompson (24C). They developed the app for a class project in CS 370: Computer Science Practicum, in which Associate Teaching Professor of Computer Science Davide Fossati challenged the students to work on a sustainability-themed project.

Klein said there is currently a GroupMe chat where people find others going to the same destination to carpool with and split the cost.

“That is a really annoying process to have to go through because there are so many people in the chat,” Klein said. “What we decided to do was automate that process and create an app where you can find people to match with and then split those rides in order to spend less money.”

Instead of making a website, the team decided to make an app connecting students to find rideshares around Atlanta.

“We thought an app better fit the last-minute nature of ride sharing arrangements,” Theodore said. “We thought it was important that you’re able to chat with other people that you might be writing with. And an app format seems like the best way to go about that.”

When people log into the app, they can create a post with their desired destination, time range, whether it is round trip and the number of available seats. Once people post, it will be available in the app’s feed. People can view other people’s ride posts on the feed and request to match on the ride to get accepted.

The team received feedback from Fossati and their classmates. Smith said a lot of people liked the app and were impressed that the team implemented a chat function on the app.

The team had been working on this project for 12 weeks. They used the agile scrum methodology, a sprint-based project management for planning. The team broke down the whole project into smaller chunks called “sprints” and planned what they do on a weekly basis.

Essenfeld added that the team has standup meetings in which team members share progress and check in with each other and retrospective meetings to discuss ideas for improvement and give each other constructive criticism or positive reinforcement. They also have storytime meetings to discuss potential new ideas.

The team came together without knowing much about each other but worked well together, Smith said.

“It was lovely that we all got along so well and work together so cohesively,” Smith said. “[It’s] just been a lovely semester getting to know everybody and working so well with a group of people.”

Theodore added that the team hopes to work on the app more during the summer, and they welcome more people to join the team by directly messaging their Instagram.

“We just want to make the app as clean, functional and reliable as possible,” Theodore said “That’s our main focus. We want to make sure that everything works as it’s supposed to consistently every time.”

The team will also work on protecting users’ security during the summer. Now the app only requires people to sign in with a verified Emory email, but the team is also trying to move to an SSO login to further ensure user security.

At the end of the semester, the team gave a presentation showcasing the app, which was a class requirement, in the Math and Science Center.

By the end of the semester, the team bought T-shirts with FareShare’s logo, which they wore to the final presentation day.

“We had given our professor the T-shirt a week and a half before, but on the day of [the presentation] he had chosen to wear it,” Smith said. “As you can conclude from the evidence, we are his favorite.”

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Heather(Zeyi) Lu (24C) is from Xinjiang, China, majoring in Philosophy, Politics, and Law & International Studies. She enjoys exercising and baking outside of the Wheel.