As of this semester, Parking and Transportation Services Department at the University of Nevada, Reno has partnered with The Associated Students of the University of Nevada (ASUN) to provide GPS real-time tracking for all PACKTransit and ASUN Campus Escort fixed-route shuttles. Available online and through a mobile application, the app can be downloaded for free on IOS and Android devices under the name PACKTransit.
Through this app, students and staff can now receive up-to-date information on where the buses are located, an accurate time-estimate as to when they'll be stopping, as well as the buses' active hours. The app additionally allows for the Parking and Transportation Services Department and ASUN Campus Escort to make announcements regarding delays, weather conditions and altered hours of service for holidays.
As of spring 2019, PACKTransit currently has two lines, the BLUELine and the SILVERLine. The BLUELine, servicing the campus perimeter, transports riders to and from the north parking areas to the south end of campus. On the east side of campus, the SILVERLine, provides express service to transport riders to and from off-campus housing in the north to Fleischmann Agriculture in the south.
"This service will be especially helpful to those east campus resident students who do not own a vehicle and utilize the PACKTransit service to get to campus." Michelle Horton, director of Parking and Transportation Services, said. "Rather than worrying about if they'll miss the bus, they'll be able to accurately know when they need to be at the stop."
Once the PACKTransit lines close at 10 p.m., ASUN Campus Escort's fixed-route shuttle will be available for users to track on the app.
"If students and staff need to get around the campus at night users will be able to know when and where the shuttle will stop," Farrar said. "This will help to alleviate calls to Campus Escort and allow ASUN Campus Escort to complete calls within the 3 mile boundary."
"Since ASUN Campus Escort already used the technology, it only made sense for us to partner with them on the PACKTransit service as well," Horton said. "We both have the same mission to serve the campus so this partnership was a natural connection.
On the back end, this tracking technology promises to provide accurate ridership data for both ASUN's Campus Escorts and Parking and Transportation Service's PACKTransit. Information including counts for on-boards and off-boards, ridership volume and shuttle speeds will all be used for future strategic planning.
"With the metrics and ridership data this app will provide, we'll be able to assess our routes and plan accordingly," Horton said. "While this app directly benefits our students now, it will help to make PACKTransit more efficient and effective for students in the future as well."