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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

New app allows students to track shuttles in real-time

Source: Office of Public Safety and Security, Oct. 2, 2023 GRAPHIC: MINDY CHOI ’25/THE HAWK

Almost three weeks after St. Joe’s launched its new transportation tracking application, TripShot, about 518 users have downloaded the app to check shuttle schedules and see where shuttles and on-demand escorts are in real-time. The university’s former transportation app, Ride Systems, was discontinued at the end of the Spring 2023 semester.

“With TripShot, you can see the real-time location of the shuttles and get real-time ETAs to your device,” Erin O’Connor, senior security systems specialist, wrote in response to written questions from The Hawk. “You can set your favorite destinations [and] can also set up alerts on when the shuttle is arriving or when the shuttle is delayed.”

The main difference between the two apps is that on TripShot a feature allows students to request on-demand rides. Students cannot currently use the on-demand transportation feature in the app. The Office of Public Safety and Security wrote that they plan to have this service working on or before Fall Break for intercampus travel.

“Riders will be able to request a ride to use [the] on-demand service to move from University City to Hawk Hill,” O’Connor wrote.

O’Connor said until the on-demand feature goes live, students can contact Public Safety for assistance when shuttles are not available to transport them to locations within the service area. The Hawk Hill West and Hawk Hill East shuttle routes run between Merion Gardens and the Presidential City Apartments.

The Hawk Hill East shuttle runs Monday-Friday from 7:20 a.m.-10:50 p.m, with a break from 10:20 a.m.-1:20 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, it runs from 10:20 a.m.-10:50 p.m. with a break from 1:20 p.m.-3:20 p.m. The Hawk Hill West shuttles run from 7:15 a.m.-10:50 p.m Monday-Friday.

The Office of Public Safety and Security said this schedule is created based on usage of the shuttle, with breaks being implemented at less popular travel times.

“Class schedules have an impact on usage of the shuttles. East and West are generally busy between the 8 a.m.-10 a.m. time frame. We see a decline in ridership after that 10 a.m. run on the East End, which is why there is a break in service,” the Office of Public Safety and Security wrote in response to written questions from The Hawk.

Until the TripShot “on-demand” service is rolled out for intercampus travel, the Office of Public Safety is running ‘passenger vans’ between Hawk Hill and University City every hour until 5 p.m., according to the website.

Nicole Bowen ’26, a frequent shuttle rider, said the Hawk Hill East and West shuttles have improved her shuttle experience.

“My experience with [the vans] has been pretty good,” Bowen said. “They’ve had a schedule for the weekdays that the shuttle buses are supposed to be here and it’s pretty clear on the website what times they’re supposed to be there.”

Bowen said this is a significant difference from the previous semester.

“My experience last semester, on the weekends, was that oftentimes they just wouldn’t show up or they would come late,” Bowen said.

Jenny Zavala ’24, who rides the intercampus shuttle at least twice a week for class, said she understands that shuttle transportation takes time, but wishes there was a more efficient system.

“I know it’s kind of tricky because there’s at least a 25-minute ride between the schools, but if they could have two shuttles at a time so that they can be running every half hour to leave from school, that would be so much better,” Zavala said.

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Savannah Warner
Savannah Warner, Assistant News Editor
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