Public Safety hopes to create parking, shuttle apps
The days of endlessly scouring North Lot for a parking space or waiting for a shuttle could soon be over. Quinnipiac’s Department of Public Safety is exploring new options to relieve students, faculty and Quinnipiac staff members of these day-to-day woes.
Chief of Quinnipiac’s Department of Public Safety David Barger said the department may soon up its technological game and is looking into the usage of two new apps at Quinnipiac.
Barger said Public Safety is working with Adirondack Solutions, the same software company that helped develop the new parking decals in the fall, to help track available spaces in Quinnipiac’s parking lots.
Ohio University currently has a system in place that Barger said Quinnipiac may emulate.
“They barcode all of their decals, so when you come into a parking lot, the officer at the gate swipes your barcode,” Barger said.
Public Safety officers could scan the barcodes when cars enter and leave the parking lots, allowing them to keep a running tally on available spaces. This new system could save officers time and be more accurate than the present one.
“[Currently] we go out there and physically count the spaces that are left,” Barger said.
Adirondack Solutions also has experience making parking information accessible through smartphones and other devices.
“They have an iPhone and a Droid application where you would be able to [track spaces],” Barger said. “You would be able to get in your car up at York Hill and say, ‘OK, I might as well just drive past North Lot.’”
There is no timetable set for when a parking app and new scan system would be implemented, but Barger assured that the university is actively exploring this new technology.
Public Safety is also exploring the possibilities of making a shuttle-tracking app available to Quinnipiac students. The department is currently looking at TransLōc, a company founded on tracking public transit. TransLōc is the same service used by Yale University to track its buses in New Haven.
Barger said Public Safety tested the app in New Haven to see if it would be a good fit for Quinnipiac.
“We’ve actually gone live with TransLōc,” Barger said. “On my phone I could see where the bus was, and it was very easy to follow.”
Although the app was easy to use, there is no time set for when Quinnipiac may use this technology.
“I only hope it has a definite timetable,” Barger said. “Everything revolves around our ability to absorb that technology within the university and apply it.”
Public Safety needs to work with Quinnipiac’s Department of Information Systems before introducing any new technologies to the university community. The two departments have explored numerous shuttle-tracking options over the years, and want to make sure the one they choose is a good fit for Quinnipiac.
“It’s a process and the one thing that we don’t want to do is adapt a particular type of technology and then find out in six months that it’s antiquated and you can’t build upon it,” Barger said. “We want to make sure that when we get [an app] it is the right thing.”
The university is in control of when an app would be available to students, Barger said. Quinnipiac’s transportation service, Dattco, is open to the idea of a tracking app for its riders.
Although neither app’s availability has been determined, Barger is excited about the possibilites new technologies can bring to Quinnipiac.
“Things that used to be done by hand, and with more crude technology solutions, are now so much easier,” Barger said.