Website, iPhone application locates Osprey Connector shuttles

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Students wanting a few more minutes to study in the Library won’t have to worry about missing the shuttle anymore. UNF recently purchased a shuttle tracking system which allows students to track the location of the Osprey Connector online and through iPhone application. By logging on to unf.transloc.com, students, faculty and staff can track the on-campus north and south shuttles in real time through a transit visualization system on the map where each shuttle is located and whether it is outbound or inbound. The TransLoc Transit Visualization iPhone app is also available for free download at itunes.apple.com. The red and blue balloons represent the north and south shuttle, respectively. The arrow at the end of the balloon indicates which direction each shuttle is going. The Google map can also be zoomed in and show the buildings on campus. TransLoc Incorporation is a transit visualization company based out of Raleigh, N.C., which provides transit visualization system for other college campuses around the country. The new tracking system minimizes student wait time at shuttle stops when they have not arrived and is good for safety measures if there are limited buses at night running. Jasmine Stanley, a UNF English and history senior, said she uses the shuttles regularly and thinks it is a very useful tool. She said she will be using the new system at least two or three times a week. “It is very easy to use, and it can help during bad weather situations, and if you are in the library studying, you will know when the shuttle has arrived,” Stanley said. The system cost UNF $12,000 per year, about $1,000 a month, said Vince Smyth, Director of Auxiliary Services. The UNF shuttle system began running fall 2007. Employees of American Coach Lines run the shuttles. Six months after the shuttles system began, the university requested a tracking system to American Coach Lines. Smyth knew he wanted a tracking system similar to North Carolina State. Smyth said the cost of the system is very little compared to providing extra services for students, faculty and staff. Melinda Gallup, Contract Administrator of American Coach Lines, is pleased that the tracking system began during the summer term so it can be running smoothly before the upcoming fall term. “[The Shuttle tracking system] not only helps students, but it helps me because if there are shuttles that are too close together, I know exactly who it is,” Gallup said. “You don’t want two south buses at the Library at one time that lengthens student wait time. Spacing is everything. “The shuttle carried one million students this past year, Gallup said.