News

Where’s the Shuttle? Live tracking now offered on Brandeis Shuttle Routes

Mar. 28, 2011

Do you take the Brandeis Crystal Shuttles? Do you want to see where the shuttle is? Have a cell phone or a computer handy? Then Blirp-It!

blirpitscreenBrandeis is unveiling a new tracking service, called Blirp-It, that displays the location of Brandeis Crystal Shuttles.  In real time, riders can find out where the Brandeis Crystal Shuttles are located on a route and how long it will be before arrival at a stop.  Brandeis Crystal Shuttles include the Daytime Crystal Campus Shuttle, the Daytime Crystal Waltham Shuttle, and the weekend Boston/Cambridge Crystal Shuttle.  

Blirp-It stands for Bus Line Information Program, and is a company based in Burlington, Vermont. The company currently serves other Universities, including the University of Vermont, Wesleyan University, and Bentley University. 

There are many ways for Brandeis Community members to utilize Blirp-It. To access live tracking online- visit shuttle.brandeis.edu. When the shuttles are in operation, the online service provides a map of the route, a list of the stops, and a tracking system with exact location of the shuttles.

Simple text messaging can also provide shuttle information. Users can text DOTCOM (368266) with the words “Blirpit Brandeis” to see which shuttles are active. Replying to the text message with the name of the shuttle and the system will text back the list of major stops on the route, and the approximate time of arrival based on the history of the route.

"Tracking software is beneficial to the community," said Director of Public Safety  Edward Callahan, "It provides greater safety efficiency and convenience." The bus tracking project was a collaboration between Public Safety, the Campus Sustainability Initiative, and the Department of University Services, with input from the Undergraduate Student Union.

Under the direction of the Director of Public Safety, the Escort Safety Service operates van services and contract bus services to provide safe and efficient transportation to the greater campus community. Live tracking is an important way to "increase customer service to students" remarked Dianne Qualter, Director of University Services.

Making public transportation more convenient and decreasing campus automobile use helps reduce the campus environmental impact, and is an important component of the Brandeis University Climate Action Plan. Sustainability Coordinator, Janna Cohen-Rosenthal '03 explained the connection, "Sustainability is not just about giving things up. It's also about making daily life, such as commuting, better and easier," she said. 

Head Coordinator of Operations for the Department of Public Safety's Escort Safety Service and Executive Senator for the Student Union, Abraham Berin '11, has been working on the tracking software. "The tracking software is only as successful as the amount of people that use it." said Berin. "With easy to use features, we are looking forward to many students benefiting from the program."

Schedules are available online.