UAF Shuttle mobile tracker still unknown to some after starting up 4 years ago

A screenshot of the UAF Campus Shuttle tracker available on both web and mobile, at uafshuttle.com. The screen shows a real-time map of the different shuttle's location, and a side bar to the right of their next stop.

A screenshot of the UAF Campus Shuttle tracker available on both web and mobile, at uafshuttle.com. The screen shows a real-time map of the different shuttle’s location, and a side bar to the right of their next stop.

Monica Combs/ Sun Star Contributor 

Mar. 4, 2014

Are you tired of waiting around for that campus shuttle? Wish that you had some kind of tracking device?

The phone application is not well publicized, but there is an app that shows movements of UAF campus buses. Junior, Andrea Perecgao, expressed her anger towards the unknown app. “The school should have put up posters or something to advertise the phone app; how in the hell are we suppose to know about it when there are no advertisements? The shuttle tracker screens don’t even work half the time, so it would be useful to have a phone app.”

The bus shuttle application was created specifically for UAF students. The iPhone version launched in May 2010, and the Android version was released a year later in April, according to Shannon Thomas, a tech specialist on campus.

“Initially, this first version was based on a bus schedule with set arrival and departure times only,” Thomas said. “Two years ago the department added live tracking features to the app, which seems far more popular. It shows the shuttle positions more accurately and updates quickly.”

Although she rides shuttles five days a week, junior Grace Singh had never heard of the mobile tracker. “I had no idea about the bus app, but I think it’s really cool if the school has it.”

Junior, Cordero Reid found out about the shuttle app in spring 2012 through mutual friends and used it for 3 months, but gave up on it. “It was laggy and buggy to use, so I stopped dealing with it. I rather just wait for the bus since there is always a bus coming around every 15 minutes.”

Though there are no specific numbers for the shuttle tracker module, according to general statistics, 7,500 people were active users of the UAF mobile app last month. That’s more than half of UAF students, but most students are using it unaware of the shuttle application within the UAF mobile app.

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