Thursday, September 12, 2013

[082] MTSU Mobile app tracks buses, maps find campus venues

MURFREESBORO — You have parked on the east side of the MTSU campus in the Rutherford Boulevard lot across from Greek Row.

And you are wondering … how much longer before the Raider Xpress bus arrives?

Actually, there’s an added feature to the MTSU Mobile app — developed by students for students — that lets people know where the buses are when they are operating.

A student-led MTSU Mobile Development Team and Parking and Transportation Services collaborated to create a real-time bus tracking system people can access from their phone or personal computer.

Additionally, the app provides maps to classrooms, offices, MT Dining locations and other campus points of interest.

To use the system:

• Open the MTSU mobile application on your iPhone, iPad or Android device, and go to the “maps” feature;

• Next, enable the display or a route by using (on the iPhone/iPad) the settings button on the bottom right or (on Android) the menu button on the device;

Once a route is displayed, buses of that color should appear “moving” on the map. If not, make sure your MTSU Mobile app is up-to-date.

Alternately, people may view buses online at

For people who have not done so already, the MTSU Mobile app can be downloaded by visiting

“This app will be most beneficial to MTSU students,” said Chelsea Rath, who led the development team in the project. “They are the majority that ride the buses across campus, but that’s not to say that visitors and faculty won’t get use out of it as well.”

Rath said that having the MTSU Mobile app provides an excellent way for students, employees and visitors to know when buses will arrive at particular stops.

“We won’t have to stand outside in the cold, heat or rain waiting and wondering when the bus will arrive and if we will make it to class on time,” she said.

Rana Heidari of Nashville, a sophomore international relations major, said she utilizes the mobile app primarily for maps “because I am a transfer student (from Nashville State Community College) and don’t know where anything is. It’s really useful to know where I am (on campus) and where I need to be.”

Ron Malone, assistant vice president for events and transportation at MTSU, said that since the initial bus-tracking proposal arose in January 2012 and the design team’s hurdling “a few large challenges” along the way, everything has turned out well.

“This app also improves a student’s ability to remain safe while waiting in a perimeter lot because they now can remain in their locked car until the app shows that their shuttle is approaching,” Malone said. “Service will be improved because our office can now monitor the locations of the buses on the routes and radio route adjustments to the drivers when we see they are beginning to stack too closely to remain efficient.”

For other questions or comments, contact the Mobile Development team at

Raider Xpress bus hours of operation during the semester include:

 • Monday through Thursday — Red and Blue routes run from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Green Routes run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Silver Route runs from 8 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.; and

• Friday — Red, Blue and Green routes run from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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