By Chelsea Williams
Many on and off-campus students who use the shuttle told Student Government Board and Public Safety that they are frustrated with the shuttle’s GPS tracking system and reliability.
SGB is no stranger to shuttles concerns. Just recently it worked with Public Safety to enable a trial run of a new app that allows students faster and more up-to-date access to shuttle tracking. DoubleMap, the app that SGB had put into use, does allow student to track with ease, although it does not fix all the issues that some students are having.
Shuttle services, which are provided by Bieber Bus Tours, have GPS installed in the buses, allowing students to track the bus’s arrival and its entire route. However it is not the tracking app that students are frustrated with.
Even with the improvements by SGB, some students are fed up with the unreliability of the buses.
“Sometimes we look at the tracking app and it just says ‘no bus on route,’ which could mean it’s broken down or they are using one of the buses that doesn’t have GPS installed,” said Ryan Murphy, an on- campus sophomore.
Waiting at a bus stop, some students do not know whether to start walking or wait in hopes of a bus coming soon.
Many students are left wondering why there are no backup buses with GPS installed, or why there is not enough money to fix the frequently broken-down buses.
According to the university’s website, every full-time student pays a $35 transportation fee for shuttle services.
KU’s public safety director, Anne Reel, explains that the money collected from transportation fees goes solely to paying for a shuttle vender. The contracted vender now, Bieber, is signed for the next four and a half years. Reel said that when buses break down, it is Bieber’s responsibility alone to resolve the issue, but she is “in regular contact with Bieber and they are aware of our continued concerns about the shuttles being taken off-line for mechanical issues.”
Students should contact Public Safety with any concerns about the shuttle as soon as they happen, either via email, firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 610-683-4860.
Furthermore public safety wants students to know that they are striving to improve the shuttles service.
The SGB expressed their encouragement to have student voice their grievances at any upcoming SGB meeting next year. There will be one executive meeting held over the summer term. Students may email SGB at email@example.com regarding shuttle concerns to be heard at any future meetings.