Developed by winners of a 48-hour "Hackathon for a Cause" sponsored last month by Uber and Coding Dojo

SAN JOSE, Calif., June 16, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A new beta service is being launched today that enables Uber users without a smartphone to hail a ride by simply sending a text. The text-to-ride app, named TextBER, was developed by winners of a 48-hour "Hackathon for a Cause" sponsored last month by Uber and Coding Dojo, a popular and fast-growing coding boot camp with a presence in Silicon Valley. TextBER aims to give elderly, and anyone else without a smartphone, access to ridesharing.

Services like Uber have huge potential to benefit an aging population that needs to get around but, due to factors like slower motor reflexes and vision loss, are at a higher risk for getting into a fatal accident. However, according to Pew Research, 36 percent of the entire adult population and 59 percent of the elderly population have a cell phone, but not a smartphone where they can request a ride.

Arash Namvar who was on the winning team helped come up with the idea for TextBER after seeing that his grandfather was finding it incredibly difficult to drive. "My grandfather doesn't use Uber because he couldn't access Uber – until now!" explained Arash.

Built using the Uber API and Twilio SMS API, TextBER allows riders (or their caregivers) to sign-up for an Uber account, link it to the TextBER service and request a ride by sending a text to the number provided with a starting point and end address. TextBER sends the rider a fare and time estimate they can accept or decline before a ride is dispatched.

The hackathon, held at the Coding Dojo San Jose campus, brought together more than 60 Coding Dojo students and alumni of all ages and backgrounds. Submitted projects were judged on design, originality, effective use of the Uber API, and most importantly impact.

Runner-ups included "Guerrilla Love," a project that allows organizations to post their volunteering activities online and fund rides to these events, and "Rides4Kidz" that allows schools to send their kids back home safely with a teacher chauffeur.

Learn more about Uber and Coding Dojo's partnership and sign-up for TextBER by visiting

About Coding Dojo

Coding Dojo provides an industry-leading curriculum where students quickly learn to code and think like software engineers and develop advanced web applications as an end result. With a remote program and locations in Seattle, San Jose and Burbank, students learn three full stacks of web software in 12 weeks. As no other coding boot camp offers a course of this magnitude, Coding Dojo is proud to teach the most extensive curriculum in the industry, which is also offered at an affordable tuition with a range of scholarship opportunities to compliment. Learn more by visiting

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