Santa Cruz Tech Beat


UCSC launches SlugRoute mobile app to track shuttles in real time

By Amada Shores
UC Santa Cruz

April 28, 2016 — Santa Cruz, CA

[Editor’s note: Santa Cruz Tech Beat published an interview with the bus tracking system development team, Q&A: Real-time Campus Shuttle Tracker is Up and Running, 6/18/15.]

(Photo above: SlugRoute works on desktop and laptop computers, as well as mobile devices.)

UC Santa Cruz students can see the location of campus shuttles in real time, helping them decide whether they should board a Metro bus or wait for the next loop or upper campus shuttle.

Transportation and Parking Services, in collaboration with undergraduate and graduate students, has launched SlugRoute, a desktop and mobile-friendly web app, that’s powered by the Bus Tracking System, a hardware and software platform that tracks the movement of campus shuttles using a series of GPS transmitters and base stations across UC Santa Cruz.

The project was driven by a group of entrepreneurial graduate and undergraduate students who saw a need on campus that could be solved with today’s technology.

“SlugRoute makes it easy to see if the next loop shuttle is minutes away,” said Larry Pageler, director of Transportation and Parking Services.

Besides providing a real-time tracking system for campus transit buses, the project team also fabricated new destination signs for the shuttle fleet.

“This was a win/win project for TAPS and the students, as well as the campus community who rely on our shuttles to travel across campus,” Pageler said.

For TAPS, the benefits of SlugRoute are two-fold: the platform can help students decide whether they should wait for a campus shuttle or hop on a Metro, which will potentially preserve space on Metro buses for those needing to get off-campus. There may also be some cost savings, since the campus pays the same amount for every student who rides a Metro bus, regardless of whether they go from Kresge to Cowell or Science Hill to downtown.

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