The 'Runner GPS app makes life easier for UTSA students
(Jan. 12, 2017) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Campus Services has launched the official mobile GPS app for The ‘Runner, UTSA’s shuttle system. The ‘Runner app allows students to track their shuttle location in real-time, view schedules and arrival times, and receive up-to-date information regarding The ‘Runner. With The ‘Runner app, students always know where their bus is and when it will arrive, making it easy to plan the commute to and from campus.
The initiative started with the UTSA Student Government Association (SGA). UTSA student and SGA member Adrian Guajardo served as an advocate for UTSA students and was an active member on the selection committee for the app.
“When I was a resident at Maverick Creek Villas, I always woke up early since my apartment was way in the back of the complex, and I never knew when the bus would arrive. When it was raining or cold—or if the buses were full—we stood in the elements waiting for the next shuttle,” said Guajardo. “At that time, I was the Student Affairs Chair for SGA and a finalist for Mr. UTSA, so I began to think about ideas that would benefit other students like me.”
Guajardo researched other university transit systems. After reaching out to multiple companies to gather information on GPS mobile app technology, Guajardo contacted Kathy Funk-Baxter, UTSA vice president of Business Affairs, to discuss the benefits of bringing the technology to UTSA. Funk-Baxter loved the idea and created a selection committee, in which Guajardo was heavily involved.
The committee, which included Clay Haverland, UTSA assistant vice president for Campus Services, narrowed the list of potential companies down to five. Each company provided a proposal and data, allowing the committee to rank which service would best meet the needs of UTSA students.
With a finalist identified and a contract in place, Campus Services worked throughout the summer and fall of 2016 to outfit each bus with GPS technology, providing training to drivers. In November 2016, the app officially launched in the Apple App Store and Google Play, available free of charge.
“What excites me the most is helping UTSA students,” said Guajardo. “The app will change our daily schedules and allow UTSA students to accomplish more.”
For those without smartphones, The ‘Runner GPS information is also available online. Printed schedules remain in the shuttle stops and online for quick reference.
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