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VIDEO: Delayed time boards keep riders waiting

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In three days, a new Student Government president will take office before current president Danny Carvajal has fulfilled one of his top three campaign goals.

Carvajal promised time boards at all shuttle stops and said they have been delayed because of problems with the vendor and also partially due to a turnover in Department of Transportation directors. The university is currently searching for another vendor.

The counterpart to the time boards, the GPS system, has been installed, but both were planned to be completed by the start of the spring semester, Carvajal said.

Once installed, the time boards and GPS system will enable shuttle riders to see the precise location of shuttles and approximately when they will arrive at stops.

Sandra Redway, director of Business Services and Travel Management, said students will also be able to check where the shuttle is from their computers. She said she hopes to see the system functioning in the fall.

The Department of Parking and Transportation currently requires the shuttle drivers to keep a log of the number of people riding the shuttle at each stop to help with their research.

But shuttle drivers are not fully aware of the new technology.

“I know they are there, but technology-wise, I know nothing about them,” said Aaron Johnson, who has been a shuttle driver since September.

Some students think the time boards will help regulate the 13 shuttle stops on the Stanford/Fountain route.

“If there were [time boards]like promised, [the shuttle drivers]would be more accountable for making every stop,” Kevin Stillwell, a senior, said.

The schedule, which varies depending on time of day, inconveniences some students. The university reduces the number of shuttles in use after 6:30 p.m., which causes longer wait times at night.

“During the day, I can go get the shuttle five minutes before class, but at night I leave half an hour early,” said sophomore Ben Treece, a regular user of the shuttles.

Redway said the time boards have not yet been purchased and are still under consideration by the university.

President-elect Brandon Gross said he plans to make sure that this project is completed during his time in office, even though it was not one of his top three campaign goals.

“I am meeting with Business Services and Transportation to make sure it is done as quickly as possible,” he said.

Justin Lichtenstaedter may be contacted at j.lichtenstaedter@umiami.edu.

March 31, 2008

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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