GPS Service Helps Riders Track UMass Boston Shuttle Buses
October 23, 2012
UMass Boston students, faculty, and staff who depend on university shuttle buses to travel to and from campus now have a new tool to help plan their commutes.
Instead of guessing when a No.1 bus will pull up to the Campus Center, or when the No.2 shuttle will arrive at the Clark Athletic Center circle, riders can track campus shuttle buses via a GPS system on their tablets and smartphones.
Using a system called TransLoc, the university, contracting with Crystal Transport, has outfitted all shuttle buses with new GPS tracking devices that allow riders to view real-time locations and estimated times of arrival for each bus in the fleet.
Director of Parking and Transportation Steve Martinson calls the new system an important enhancement, given that UMass Boston shuttle buses serve 1.5 million riders a year.
“Now, riders will know exactly where the buses are and see how long they will take to get to their stop,” Martinson said. “It’s another way to better serve our commuters and promote sustainability on campus.”
Shuttle riders can go to www.TransLoc.com using a Web browser or download the TransLoc app on their phones.
The TransLoc system will also allow the Parking and Transportation Department to post messages notifying students about delays, construction information, road closings, weather issues, and any changes to bus routes. Martinson said the next step is to place a screen in the Campus Center displaying the TransLoc shuttle map for those who don’t have a smart device.
The GPS system will be especially critical during inclement weather and on the weekends, when only one bus is running on campus.
“The response by the university community to this new service has been very positive, and we are glad to add one more component to our transportation demand management efforts on campus,” said Assistant Vice Chancellor for Campus Services Diane D’Arrigo. “We hope this improvement to our shuttle service will encourage more people to take public transportation.”
UMass Boston also recently added a Hubway bike-sharing kiosk on campus.
Other Boston universities using TransLoc include Harvard, Boston College, and Boston University. “We explored several systems, and spoke to other universities, and we felt this was clearly the leader in the industry,” Martinson said.
UMass Boston maintains three campus bus routes, which run from the JFK/UMass Boston MBTA station to stops like the Campus Center, JFK Library, State Archives, the Clark Athletic Center circle, and the Bayside parking lot.
UMass Boston shuttle buses run from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on weekdays. To learn more about parking and transportation on campus, visit http://www.umb.edu/the_university/getting_here.