There’s an app for that

Staci Canny

Are you tired of standing outside in the freezing cold, waiting for a shuttle? Well, wait no more. Quinnipiac will soon release its QU Shuttle Tracker application.

This smartphone app will run through the university’s mobile application, MOX, and will be available for the iPhone, Android and Blackberry.

Each bus will have a particular number, and using that number, the shuttle can be tracked, Chief of Security & Safety Dave Barger said.

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Quinnipiac will release the Shuttle Tracker application soon to help students anticipate the shuttle’s arrival at the multiple campuses.
For more than a year, several students and a professor, who have remained anonymous, have been developing the app that will enable smartphones to track the shuttles through a GPS system installed on the university’s leased DATTCO buses.

Assistant Chief of Security Edgar Rodriguez said that the University of New Haven has been using the same system on a smaller scale with three of its leased DATTCO buses.

With Quinnipiac getting this technology now, Barger said that the university is not behind.

“We’re still relatively new in the whole realm of things with York Hill, the parking lots and the Westwoods lot,” Barger said. “The demand has now caught up with us and we now have to move along with the demand.”

Quinnipiac has shuttles that run to Hamden, New Haven, York Hill, Whitney Village and Westwoods.

Rodriguez said that this new app with help alleviate student complaints.

“We have students who say the bus never showed up here, and they call me up and I track it, and the bus was there,” Rodriguez said.

Students’ complaints led to recent policy changes allowing juniors living at York Hill to park on the Mount Carmel campus at any time, according to an email sent to students by Manuel Carreiro, vice president and dean of student affairs.

Yet, even with this parking policy change, Barger encourages students to use the shuttle system when possible.

“The attempt is to alleviate any anxiety the students would have in getting here in a timely fashion from York Hill,” Barger said.

“You burn a gallon of gas only to go two miles round trip, so I would think looking at it like that, they would certainly want to use the bus.”

Sophomore Katie Foley said she is excited for the new app.

“There have been so many times that I’ve tried to log onto MyQ from my phone to find the shuttle schedule and it would never load,” Foley said. “So this will be awesome to actually know where the shuttle is and be able to see it on my phone.”

Still, some students have complained about the inconvenience of the shuttle system.

Pat Duffy, a junior living on the Mount Carmel campus, stopped using the shuttles to visit his friends on York Hill.

“There have been instances that I have had to wait 45 minutes to get the shuttle in the freezing cold,” Duffy said. “On the other hand, there have been moments that I just manage to grab it as it drives by.

“In almost all circumstances I use my car to avoid these situations.”

Said freshman Nicki Palmer: “The shuttles are always late, so even if you have a three-hour break in between classes you are not guaranteed to get back in time for class.”

While some students find the shuttle system to be inconvenient, others appreciate this service.

Marissa Maturo, a freshman, says that because she cannot have a car on campus, she is at the mercy of the shuttle system.

“I like to think of it as better than nothing. QU could chose to not provide us with any transportation so I think that it is a great perk,” Maturo said.

Despite the app holding promise for a more convenient means of transportation, Palmer said she still has some concerns.

“My only new concern is that everyone will try to get to the shuttle stop last minute and not everyone will be able to fit on the buses,” Palmer said. “Then, the app is essentially useless because you still have to wait around.”