UT commuters are getting home safer every night thanks to technology in the palm of their hand.

The T-Link bus has been around for a while, but last fall UT began beta testing an app that would allow students to have rides come right to them rather than waiting at a fixed route bus.

“Just in the first month of school it’s up 43 percent,” said Moira Bindner with UT Parking and Transit Services.

Ridership is increasing as more students spread the word about the powerful app.

“You’ll tell them what your location is and where you’re going, they’ll come straight to you wherever you are,” said UT student Nate Hogan.

“I can check the timings, whether the bus is available in 5 minutes or 10 minutes,” explained UT student Shalani Yerukala.

“It saves me time in the morning especially when I want to get those extra few minutes of sleep,” said UT student Sofia Rubio.

When students us the app – data is being sent back to TransLoc, the company who designs the service in North Carolina. Their goal is to provide students convince and safety.

“It’s a great way to help ensure that those students will make good decisions and not get behind the wheel if they’ve had too much to drink,” said TransLoc Director of Strategy Josh Cohen.

Right now TransLoc is providing the service to UT and more than a dozen other schools.

UT is also working to improve rider experience.

“We’re constantly analyzing the route system, what the numbers are so that we can make decisions for the next six months or the next school year,” said Bindner.