In an effort to improve the university’s public transportation system, USF has partnered with transportation technology company Passio to upgrade the Bull Runner tracking system with more accurate arrival times.
The university had previously worked with Synchromatics to track the Bull Runner’s whereabouts and arrival times, said Marie Bowen, assistant director of parking and transportation. However, the system was consistently inaccurate, leaving many students frustrated and frustrated.
After Synchromatics’ contract with the university ended, a bid for similar services began, resulting in USF signing Passio, Bowen said.
Bowen said the package includes four interactive interface displays placed around the campus to help students track their location and get an estimate of the Bull Runner’s arrival. Additionally, students will know immediately if a bus has to be rerouted due to an accident, and will be alerted in the event of a campus-wide emergency.
Bowen said screens were installed at four of the most popular Bull Runner shelters two weeks ago, but now they only show static images. Shelters include those at the Marshall Student Center, Hub, Library and Leroy Collins. Bowen said the program will be fully operational within 30 days.
Services that set Passio apart included an improved tracking system, an infotainment monitor, and Bus Buzz, a feedback program that students can access and use to send suggestions and compliments about their drivers, Bowen said. said.
Bowen said the new contract will run for five years and includes an opportunity to extend for another three years. She said this is enough time for colleges and students to get their money’s worth.
“We need to make sure we get the best value for our money and for our students,” says Bowen. “We were now at a point where we needed to go back and re-bid. [tracking services]”
According to Communications and Marketing Director Colton Morgan, the cost of the contract included more than $350,000 in capital costs and more than $31,000 in annual operating costs.
All costs are covered by the student’s annual transportation fee ($3 per credit hour for Tampa students) and the university’s own transportation and parking budget, at no additional cost to students, Bowen said. said.
No major construction work was required to install the screens in four of the shelters, Bowen said. In fact, the necessary infrastructure for the monitor was already in place, requiring minor changes such as adding outlets to locations.
Bowen said students can use the website or text arrival prediction options to see where Bull Runner is on their own. Tracking may be more accurate, but it’s important that students continue to put up with the usual inconveniences that come with public transportation and driving on the street, she said.
“We want to encourage people that they still need to pay attention. [that the Bull Runner is] Public transportation,” said Bowen. “Like driving on the road, if you’re planning a route and he expects to get there in 20 minutes, but you run into traffic, you’re lost.”