University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee

Be On the Safe Side

Frequently Asked Questions

Be On the Safe Side

Frequently Asked Questions

Riders must present valid U.W.M student ID to driver or office personnel before rides will be given. If you do not have your student I.D you will be denied service

B.O.S.S  cannot transport minors or children who require the use of a car seat

B.O.S.S reserves the ride to refuse rides in the case of inappropriate behavior/requests, or if the request is out of the scope of our mission

B.O.S.S reserves the right to refuse rides to locations suspected of inappropriate behavior

Priority is given to academic related rides. Dispatchers are able to recommend alternative modes of transportation. Students are expected to use their UPASS whenever possible

University Housing students travelling between campus and the North Avenue area housing locations are required to use the University housing shuttle. B.O.S.S will refer students to the shuttle and will only accommodate these requests if the shuttle is not running

No unsealed food/beverage and absolutely no alcohol allowed in the vehicles

B.O.S.S does not accommodate emergency safety needs or medical transport. In urgent situations, dial 911. To reach University police on campus phones dial 9-911. On personal phones: 414-229-9911

No loud or intrusive use of profanity or otherwise disorderly behavior. This includes Harassing/threatening the driver, staff, passengers or community members.

Rides are dispatched on a first come first served basis
Once you place your request, you will be given a wait estimate. Students should be watching for their ride from the time it is placed until it arrives. Wait times can approach 60 minutes or more during high call volume.
B.O.S.S will not wait more than five minutes at your pick up location. We cannot conduct multiple destinations per request or wait for immediate return trips
Once a destination is recorded from the B.O.S.S staff, that destination cannot be changed without calling to cancel the request. A new request can be made and placed at the bottom of the waiting list.
Missing your ride the first time will result in a warning. If you miss your ride the second time it is dispatched you will not be eligible to use the service for the remainder of the evening.
It is highly recommended you do not wait until closing time to request a ride. Your chances of not getting through on the phone increase the closer to closing time you call

You must do your part to ensure your safety. Used wisely, B.O.S.S is a tool students can use to stay safe. Plan your transit options in advance. We are not responsible if you have to walk home alone, but we can help to prevent it.


: How is BOSS funded?
A: BOSS is funded through student segregated fees as appropriated by the Student Association.

Q: How much do I pay for BOSS?
A:As a student you pay $10.30 in segregated fees per semester for the BOSS program. This is subject to change each year. Funding for segregated fees is appropriated by the Student Association.

Q: Is BOSS an emergency safety service?                                                                                                                                                                                                         

A: No. If you are ever in immediate danger you must call 911. We are not trained nor equipped to deal with a situation that is already dangerous. Our goal is to keep you safe from potential harm. If you feel immediatly threatened contact law enforcement immediately.

Q: I'm 21 and have a case of beer, can I bring it with?
A: No, state law dictates that alcohol cannot be taken in state owned or rented vans, so even if you are old enough and the drinks aren't opened, we can't have it in the van.

Q: Are pets allowed in the B.O.S.S. vans?
A: No pets are allowed unless mandated by the Persons with Disabilities Act.

Q: Are carry ons allowed in the B.O.S.S Van?
A: Carry ons are permitted only if they fit on your lap. We have to group calls to reduce wait time and need all the space that is available.

Q: What do I do if I don't need my ride anymore?
A: You can call us just like you did to get your ride, but hit 1 instead of 3, which will bring you to a separate line which is used to cancel rides.

Q: Is BOSS a cab service?
A: No, BOSS is not a cab service. We are a safety service as part of the university's commitment to safety. Cab services operate for profit, we do not. Our focus is also not on speedy service. We do the best we can with the demand we receive. Below are some resources that may be useful in getting around:

Q: Can I make a reservation for a ride at a specific time later in the night?
A: Sorry, unfortunately we strictly send vans in the order the calls are recieved. If you don't need a ride right away, you'll have to call back later.

Q: Who may use BOSS?
A: Since BOSS is funded solely through student’s segregated fees as part of their tuition, only University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Students paying segregated fees may use the B.O.S.S service.

Q: Who runs BOSS?
A: BOSS is proud that the vast majority of its employees are UWM students. There is usually one director who is full time, and anywhere from 55 to 65 student employees.

Q: How many people does BOSS transport?
A: This number changes with the school calendar. When school is in session, it is not uncommon to transport more than 15,000 students per month.

Q: How many people has BOSS taken since it started?
A: BOSS started in the year 2000, so this number is difficult to keep on top of, but as of the fall semester 2008, we should transport our 1 millionth passenger. To put this number in perspective, this would equal:

  • Filling the Bradley Center 54 times
  • Filling Lambeau Field 13.7 times
  • Filling Miller Park 23.6 times
  • Filling the U.S Cellular 78.75 times
  • Filling Camp Randall 12.45 times
  • More than 17% of the population of Wisconsin

Q: Why does my ride take so long?
A: BOSS does our best to get to everyone in the order they requested a ride. With a service that is provided at no cost at point of service, BOSS transports between 600 and 800 students per night during the school year. Besides the volume of demand, there is traffic, vehicle issues, staffing, and weather that all play into our ability to operate.

Q: How much fuel does BOSS go through?
A: This is roughly 100 gallons per night when school is in session. That may seem like a lot, and it is, but it’s still considerably less than if everyone drove themselves.

Q: How many miles do you drive per year?
A: As an average, a BOSS van will travel 30,000 hard earned miles per year, with almost none of it being highway driving and nearly all of it being done on Milwaukee’s congested east side. To put this in perspective, the Earth at the equator is 24,901 miles. Collectively, BOSS vans travel 255,000 miles per year on Milwaukee's congested east side.

Q: How can I contact BOSS?
A: You can stop by the BOSS office or use the director's line at 414-229-6469.

Q: How does BOSS handle inclement weather?
A: Weather in Wisconsin in undpredictable and we try to work through all weather. As a general rule, if the University closes due to weather, BOSS will usually be closed.

As road or weather conditions change, students should be prepared for reduced levels of operation.This can include closing, closing early or limiting requets such as those from campus to home. This decision is made with input from University administrators and or the UWM police department. We do our best to inform callers if we intend to close early. If transporting students becomes more dangerous due to weather we would rather not jeopordize students safety.