October 11, 2010

Web Extra: LSU unveils iPhone bus tracking app for on-demand service



Last week, Baton Rouge, La.-based Louisiana State University (LSU) launched a new iPhone bus tracking application, Transloc, which will now track the University’s on-demand bus system, Campus Transit, in addition to its fixed-route bus system, Tiger Trails.

The bus tracking system went operational last week for Campus Transit, a door-to-door on-demand service on campus for security at night; available from 5:30 p.m. until 3:00 a.m. Transloc also provided the GPS equipment, which cost $24,000 to obtain and install. 


As of March, students have been able to follow the system online or on their iPhones for the fixed-route service bus system, Tiger Trails. “Since we began advertising it, we’ve seen a quantum jump in the amount of iPhone visits looking at where the buses are,” said Gary Graham, director, Office of Parking, Traffic and Transportation. “The students are very pleased with it. We’ve seen such a jump in the amount of usage, especially among students that check their iPhone to see where the bus is.”


According to tracking reports from Transloc, the system received slightly more than 5,000 hits during June and July. In August, the number it jumped up to more than 30,000, and in September, it climbed to over 66,000 visits during the month.


Graham said that the University had seen other University’s bus tracking systems designed by Raleigh, N.C.-based Transloc and wanted to answer student demand with something similar. “One of the things students wanted was to have that capability on our buses here,” he added.

 

The developer has also designed transit applications for Yale University, University of Chicago and Princeton University. Last year, LSU got First Transit, which runs Campus Transit, onboard and put out a bid.

 

Transloc worked with LSU and First Transit to combine bus tracking for both the fixed route and the on-demand services, so students are able to access both bus systems in the same application. Both routes are visible on the same map.

 

The bus tracking application makes getting around campus safer, Graham explained, since students will be able to quickly find out if they have missed a fixed-route bus, and can call for an on-demand bus. “[Creating the app] also helped coordinate the Campus Transit buses with the night route buses we have that go off campus, so, when coming back on campus, if somebody needs to go where the fixed route doesn’t, they can coordinate with Campus Transit."

 

 

 

 

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