USC Students Launch App to Cut the Cost of Rides from LAX

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Three USC students have developed a solution to the frustration of finding a ride back to campus from LAX.

USC juniors James McColl, Toan Hyunh and Max Albright designed the app “Shairport” to help USC students share a ride back to campus and reduce the cost of expensive Lyft and Uber rides from LAX. The app launched on the App Store and allows users to log in using their USC email address to ensure all riders are only USC students.

To use Shairport, users must be in the vicinity of LAX’s Lyft pickup area, LAX-it. The app aims to reduce the cost of a ride back to USC from LAX, which can cost up to $70 for Lyft and Uber rides. The founders hope to cut that cost in half for students.

The idea for the app was born in an introduction to software development course, where the students pitched it as a project. The group initially built a website to help people get rides from campus to LAX but soon realized that the demand surrounded issues getting rides from the airport back to campus. They then switched to building the app, which came with its challenges, as the group had to learn a whole new tech stack and languages.

Safety is a top priority for the group, and they are open to looking for more methods to ensure students have a safe ride. They plan to add additional measures in the next round of rolling out the app, such as an additional support link that users can contact if something is going wrong with their ride or if they get paired with someone who is unresponsive.

USC students have shown interest in the app, with some saying that it will create a safer experience for students trying to travel back to campus. The founders hope to expand and involve other colleges in Los Angeles as the app continues to grow and gain more traction. They welcome any feedback that will improve the experience for everyone.

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