The PACKTransit app released an update in mid-March to allow users to see the location of the campus shuttle buses.
“It’s a really good tool for students to use to determine how they want to get back and forth from the campus,” said Michelle Horton, the director of parking and transportation services at the University of Nevada, Reno.
The app allows users to view the location of the BLUELine and SILVERLine buses as they travel along their routes, and will cost $30,000 a year to maintain, according to Horton.
“It was one of my biggest complaints, that students just didn’t know where the bus was,” Horton said. “This app is great for letting you know exactly where the bus is.”
DoubleMap, a transportation software and solutions company, was contracted to install the equipment. The university’s Campus Escort uses the same system.
“I contacted ASUN, Campus Escort and they’ve been doing this for years,” Horton said. “So I said, ‘What do you guys use? Are you happy with it?’ And they said, ‘We love it. So we partnered with DoubleMap to make that happen. And so now this GPS tracking device is on our campus buses as well as theirs.”
Students aren’t the only ones benefiting from the new feature.
“We used to have to count ons and offs manually…But with this app, it counts ons and offs with a laser,” Horton said. “Now it can be completely realistic on how many riders we’re getting and the driver’s not responsible for that anymore. All they really need to do now is focus on safe driving.”
Horton also said that she thinks the number of students taking the bus around campus will increase.
“I think ridership will go up because students can now make an educated decision on whether to hop on the bus or not,” Horton said.
Taylor Avery can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @NevadaSagebrush.