GPS devices aid Miss. State commuters

Posted on August 30, 2010

[IMAGE]4975-2.jpg[/IMAGE]STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mississippi State students who depend on university shuttles to navigate campus now have a new tool to help plan their commutes.

University Transit recently installed GPS automatic vehicle locator systems on shuttles, allowing individuals to track the vehicles along their routes using an Internet connection or smartphone.

Jeanette Mitchell-Bailey, special projects coordinator for university transit and parking services, said wireless broadband devices mounted directly to buses transmit real-time data providing access to information for each of the five daily routes.

Using shuttle commuters can see estimated arrival times for stops along routes or use the Live Map to view bus locations and track their progress in real time.

"This technology increases the safety and efficiency of the university transit system," she said. "Drivers now have access to route information, are able to adjust routes as necessary, and directly receive campus emergency notifications for broadcasting Maroon Alert messages."

University Transit maintains five campus routes coded by color — maroon, blue, green, orange, and purple — which operate daily from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., as well as night and Saturday routes. On home football weekends, four gameday routes are added to transport fans to and from off-campus parking areas.

All routes are trackable using the system.

Automatic passenger counters will be added in October, Mitchell-Bailey said, allowing users to see shuttle capacities while transit officials track logistical data regarding stops and routes.

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