New app to help Roger Williams track shuttles

The University is currently testing the app and hopes to roll it out soon.

By Allison Kirk l Herald Contributor

Soon students will no longer have to wonder where the university shuttle is if it’s running late to a stop. A new application, powered by an app called Passio GO, will tell students where the shuttle buses are in real time. 

Catherine Tobin, manager of transportation and parking on campus, said she hopes to have the application roll out soon. Initially, the university hoped to have it ready to go by Feb. 18. This did not come to fruition, but she said it is now expected to come out during the week of March 2. 

Tobin illustrated a scenario to show how students would benefit from Passio GO. 

If there was an accident on the Mount Hope Bridge and students were waiting to be picked up at Baypoint Residence Hall, the application could push out a notice saying services are suspended for this reason. 

“It’s real time and we can get it out and push it out to the students… we’ve wanted that for some time now,” Tobin said. 

Along with the notices, the application will track shuttle buses on the move. An estimated time of arrival will be given for each shuttle. 

Additionally, it will show the different routes, buses, who is driving and even passenger load. It also shows when the drivers are on break.

Tobin said this will allow students to know when the drivers are on breaks so they have the opportunity to switch buses. 

Students who have been on the shuttles recently have probably noticed the tablets. While these are helping with the application features, there are a few shuttles that don’t have the devices due to pricing. According to Tobin, two out of the seven shuttles do not have them. 

What exactly is Passio GO? The vehicle tracking application has been utilized by many other universities and has been around for a while. For RWU, Passio GO has been working on the routes since December 2019. The application can work through a phone or a computer. 

Many students find this idea useful, such as Makayla Decesari, a sophomore majoring in biology.

“That would be awesome! Because most of the time, it’s not on the schedule,” Decesari said.  

Decesari also explained that a lot of the time the shuttle is usually late rather than early. With the app, students can get a sense of how late it’s going to be. Decesari plans on using it since she lives on campus and takes the shuttle to CVS.