DoubleMap leaves students un-appy

Armon Siadat

The DoubleMap bus tracking app has left many students unhappy, causing several to uninstall the app and take their chances at the bus stop.

DoubleMap, an application for iPhone or Android devices, tracks the campus shuttles’ locations in real-time.

Offered through a partnership between USI and the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System (METS), the free app saves students time when its working properly.

Those using the application no longer had to stand out in rain, sleet, snow or blistering shine wondering if or when the bus would show up. Users were granted the luxury of staying inside and syncing their walk to the nearest bus stop with the shuttle’s current location.

Upon initial rollout of the DoubleMap application, gone were the days when students would play Russian roulette with the bus schedule and risk being late for classes.

At least that was the goal.

I’m still late to my morning classes – not because I’m oversleeping or don’t feel up to it, but because I continue to give DoubleMap the benefit of the doubt and say, “Today’s going to be the day DoubleMap is working right again.”

There are two campus shuttles and a METS West Connection that weave their way through our campus. All three of the bus routes, color-coded but overlapping, appear when you pull up the application’s map on your device.

Lately, however, only one of the campus shuttles is present on the map.

Culpable of being ignorant to the matter, I assumed the presence of only one campus shuttle on the map resulted from failure of the other and implied only one was currently operational.

It wasn’t until I assumed that I had missed the bus and decided to walk to campus that a campus shuttle drove past me.

The campus shuttle wasn’t non-operational, it just wasn’t on the map.

The ‘operational’ bus has glitches of its own.

Numerous are the times I have decided to leave my apartment and walk to the nearest bus stop because DoubleMap showed the shuttle’s location was two bus stops away, only to find that the bus had actually already driven past the bus stop by the time I got there.

Granted I am not the world’s fastest walker, I am definitely not the slowest.

In this case, it wasn’t a matter of user error. The GPS tracking had a delayed signal that was actually following the bus as opposed to moving with the bus.

DoubleMap, when functioning properly, is one of the best innovations USI has offered students and staff.

Should USI and METS work out the kinks with the app – having all running buses appear on the map and in real-time – getting to and from campus could become an everyday routine instead of an everyday guessing game.

Since its availability to the USI campus, DoubleMap has become an essential part of student life.

The Office of Public Safety needs to sit down and correct the application’s errors, ensuring students, faculty and staff who utilize the bus the service is fully functional and maintains its essentiality.