GPS technology has cut down on wait time for the campus bus system at Utah State University, making travel more efficient for students.

Students can now jump online before jumping on the Aggie Shuttle to pinpoint the exact location of each bus on campus as well as estimated wait time. The feature, which has been well-liked by students, has cut down on lines.

"This system is a wonderful addition for the university," said Justin Rees, president of Ride Systems, which designed the tracking system for the university.

"It is designed to fit the needs of the university students and anybody who rides the bus on a regular basis," Rees said. "From the response we have received from riders, we know it is fulfilling its purpose."

Each bus can be tracked by its number, direction and speed, giving riders to-the-minute updates on its location across USU's vast, 400-acre campus. GPS has been used to track the Logan campus' 10 buses since September, but the student tracking was launched the first week of February.

Rees, a USU graduate, said the system is unique because it uses off-the-shelf smart phones to do the GPS tracking. He said he created it that way because it is more cost-efficient and user-friendly.

Alden Erickson, bus operations supervisor for USU's Parking and Transportation Services, said of the 23,000 students on campus, several have sent e-mails noting the benefits of the new system.

The system is expected to be available to Web-enabled cell phones by fall. Other expected enhancements include text-messaging and e-mail notification services, providing users with estimated arrival times, as well as display monitors near each of the stops. The system can be found at www.usu.edu/parking.


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