Shuttle-tracking app helps students plan their commute

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Maria Mainelli
CONTRIBUTOR

Cassidy McWhorter, a second-year pre-nursing student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), takes the Scott Campus shuttle every day.

With parking limited at times on campus, McWhorter is among the many UNO students who use the school’s shuttle system to get from one campus to another.

On Aug. 20, UNO launched a new shuttle tracking app for students. Shuttle riders can track the location of their shuttle in real time and see when it’s scheduled to arrive at the next stop.

After one school year of the app going live, Sam Petto, UNO Associate Director, Editorial and Media Relations, said students have shared many positive comments about the app.

McWhorter said the app is almost always accurate and helps her plan her daily commute. “Sometimes I’m running late in the morning and last year it was hard to tell if I should bother racing through my routine,” McWhorter said. “Now I can just check the app and see how much time I have before I need to be at the shuttle stop.”

McWhorter liked the idea of adding shuttle driver’s names to their routes so students can know who is picking them up.

Kevin Jones, UNO Transportation Coordinator, said he would look into this feature but does not know if the functionality is there yet. Jones also said his team is not working on any new features for the app as of right now because members are still working to perfect the app as it is.

Mikey Figura, a first-year engineering student, lives at the John Paul II Newman Center and frequently takes the shuttle from there. Figura said he does not use the app every day, but agrees that its accuracy comes in handy when he’s running late.

Figura does not think anything should be added to the app, but suggested that some features could be more user friendly.

“I think it can be kind of difficult to tell which point is the shuttle and which is the stop when you select a specific route,” Figura said. “Also, I feel like pulling up arrival times is kind of awkward.”

Jones encouraged students like Figura and McWhorter to write their ideas and concerns in the comment section of the app. Stories in the Mav Daily and Bullseye can also help students understand some of the more complicated functions of the app.

Jones also encouraged students who use the app frequently and to tell others about it. He said flyers are posted at shuttle stops and inside the shuttles themselves to inform students about the app, but he also understands the importance of word of mouth.

“We have seen a large number of downloads for the app and it keeps growing,” Jones said. “This service helps both the riders and also us on the administrative side make sure we provide the best service possible.”

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