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Washington University will offer free Uber rides from its main campus following a spate of gun crimes in the area, including shootings that wounded three people and the armed carjacking of a student.

On Tuesday, a man was shot in an apparent carjacking attempt not far from campus, where a spate of crimes involving guns compelled administrators to email parents to remind them of security measures in place to protect students.

On Sunday, armed suspects approached a student and demanded his car keys in the 5900 block of Waterman Boulevard. On Sept. 12, two people were injured in a shooting at the Delmar Loop Transit Center.

Police agencies have increased patrols in the area near the campus just west of Skinker Boulevard, and the university will partner with Uber to provide free rides home for students living nearby, said Hank Webber, executive vice chancellor and chief administrative officer, in an email sent Thursday to students and parents. 

The rides will be offered to students who live in neighborhoods directly north and south of Delmar Boulevard, the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood of St. Louis and the area directly south of the campus, Webber said. 

Students who live in the areas will receive an email from administrators with information about how to sign up for the rides. 

The university also has a shuttle service that provides rides home to the same neighborhoods at night for students, faculty and staff.

Bi-State will also add five buses to a Metro shuttle service that connects the campus with several dormitories and off-campus student housing facilities, as well as the Metrolink station at Big Bend Boulevard and Forest Park Parkway. The university will also add a shuttle to the route. 

"We are hopeful that adding this service will give students living off-campus an additional, safe option to meet their transportation needs," Webber said in his email. 

"Nothing is more important to us than your safety and well-being, and we are working hard to make our campus and the surrounding community as safe and secure as possible."

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Reporter covering breaking news and crime by night. Born in Algeria but grew up in St. Louis. Previously reported for The Associated Press in Jackson, Mississippi and at the Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas.