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Tracking the shuttle: There’s an app for that

September 19th, 2013

Gone are the days of standing in the rain outside of Beachwood Place, wondering where the JCU shuttle could possibly be. Students at John Carroll University will now be able to track the location of the individual vans in JCU’s shuttle system, “Do The Loop.” DoubleMap, the new shuttle-tracking device, will be fully implemented this Friday Sept. 20.

According to Lisa Ramsey, director of student activities, the idea of using DoubleMap originated from JCU’s Student Union. Kim Rossi, student body president, took part in a demo of Doublemap and then formally brought the idea to Ramsey. Ramsey and SU looked into a number of different application options until settling on DoubleMap.

Lakefront Lines, the company who provides transportation for the shuttle, will also be in charge of the app’s GPS feature. Each shuttle has an iPad device that sends out a signal, allowing users to view the shuttle locations on the app.

DoubleMap is simple to use: after selecting which route to view, the app outlines the shuttle route on a map with a real-time update on the location of the shuttle. The map also shows each of the shuttle’s destinations, indicated by a dot. The locations remain the same as last year: Belvoir Parking Lot, Green Road Annex, Beachwood Mall, Legacy Village and University Square.

Student Union and the shuttle program, both of which are funded through the Student Activity Fee, financed the app.

Many students have shown a positive reaction towards DoubleMap and have already downloaded the application.

“It sounds very helpful because I’m always stranded at Beachwood Mall,” said sophomore Brandi Duvall. “Sometimes I don’t have cell phone service. Having an application instead of scrolling through the website to find times would be wonderful.”

Senior Kelly Carter remembers her own days as a car-less freshman reliant on the shuttle.

“I remember when it was cold outside, raining and snowing,” said Carter. “This app is going to save people from a lot of blue fingers. I think it’s awesome as a free application.”

Holly Mittelmeier, assistant director of student activities, expressed eagerness as well.

“I am excited for the tracking system to take place into students’ lives so they can get to their destination in time,” she said.

Junior Danni Keane, Student Union Programing Board’s major events executive, expressed her appreciation for the security it offers students.

“Before I had my car on campus, I relied on the shuttle,” said Keane. “There would be times when I would be standing in the rain for half an hour. This also makes it a lot safer for students.”

Senior Gabriel Menendez was in disbelief when asked what he thought about DoubleMap. Menendez believed there were other ideas that should be explored in the shuttle services.

“I would like to see the shuttle be extended over the week,” said Menendez. “Most students are looking to get off campus during the weekdays. However, tracking the shuttle is an awesome concept.”

The shuttle’s GPS systems on DoubleMap are expected to be fully functional this upcoming weekend. The application is free and can be viewed online on JCU’s Student Activities website and can be downloaded on Apple products from the iTunes store and for the Android on Google Play.