In response to student requests that UR shuttles provide increased access to downtown Rochester, the Students’ Association (SA) Senate proposed several potential improvements to the system last Monday.
In recent years, shuttle routes have added several stops to accommodate the demands of an increasingly large off-campus student population.
Last semester, ID card readers were added to the shuttle buses to gather information about the times of peak usage and the composition of students riding particular shuttle lines.
SA Chair of Projects & Services and junior Harika Kunchala has analyzed this data as a basis for potential changes to further benefit riders in the future.
“We’ve been doing a lot of outreach,” Kunchala said. “We’ve been looking into the card reader data to figure out who is riding what bus, when they are riding, really analyzing that data.”
Senate plans to “ask a small group [of students] to think about smaller scale changes that could be possible to make to transportation,” Kunchala added.
Potential changes currently under consideration include additional stops on certain lines if there is sufficient student demand and additional shuttles running simultaneously on certain lines when at their peak usage levels.
“This is very much in the preliminary stage,” Kunchala said. “We’re trying to figure out what is possible before asking [students] to provide us with all of these great ideas and then not being able to do anything about them. We really are looking for the smaller scale changes.”
KEY Scholar Ana Garcia has focused her project on the issue of transportation. She hopes to erect several monitors outside ITS that will track the shuttles’ progress along their routes using the Transloc mobile app.
Transloc is an app designed to provide users of mass transit with the location of the bus, shuttle, or train in real time. The program is in use at dozens of universities and cities across the country.
Issues have arisen regarding the accuracy of the app in tracking the buses’ location, but the developer is currently working with UR Transportation Services to address the problem.
Senate hopes to begin accepting student input after it has finished analyzing the card reader data and identifying any trends in shuttle use.
Smith is a member of
the class of 2013.