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Harvard Transit System Ushers in New Semester with Updates and Expansions

By Nikki D. Erlick and Brianna D. MacGregor, Crimson Staff Writers

The new year brings updates to the University’s transport system in the form of an additional shuttle service smartphone application and the official expansion of weekend shuttle service, supervisor of Harvard’s transit and charter operations, Jonathan Werner, told The Crimson in an email earlier this month.

Students will now be able to use Transloc Rider, a shuttle service application that can automatically detect students’ current locations and inform them of the closest shuttle stop and the routes servicing that stop, said David E. Harris Jr., director of transit and fleet management for Harvard Campus Services. The application, which students can download in addition to the current Transloc shuttle-tracking application, also features an updated search function.

Harris said that “one of the best features” of the application is an alert function that allows students to choose to be notified when their desired shuttle is five, ten, or 15 minutes away from the stop nearest to them. The alert feature, he said, can help students ensure that they catch the next shuttle without constantly needing to check the tracking application.

According to Harris, the new features have been tailored to fit campus needs in response to extensive feedback collected by Transloc, a transit technology company that has serviced Harvard since 2007.

“It’s been a really good company to work with because we think they do a good job at recognizing the needs of students and what they’re looking for,” he said.

The upcoming semester will also see a continuation of the expanded Crimson Cruiser service that was launched in September, with the weekend and holiday morning service between Mather House and the Quad now official.

“[The extension] is scheduled and budgeted to be a permanent part of the service now,” said Harris, adding that the increased shuttle hours are the product of a student survey and discussion between Associate Dean of Student Life David R. Friedrich and Undergraduate Council members, including UC Vice President Sietse K. Goffard ’15.

Charter service for student groups traveling throughout the greater Cambridge area will also continue. Since its inception more than ten years ago, the charter service has acquired more modern equipment and grown in size, with students utilizing the service over 500 times last year, Werner wrote in his email. The charter service includes the transportation of athletic teams to Logan Airport and additional shuttles for late-night events like the annual Halloween party Heaven and Hell, which is held in Currier House.

“Groups recognize that it’s just as easy to use a Harvard bus to get around Boston or Cambridge for a special event as it is to call in an agency outside,” said Harris. “And then they also get the familiarity of having the same Harvard driver that they might otherwise see driving on a route.”

—Staff writer Nikki D. Erlick can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @nikkierlick.

—Staff writer Brianna D. MacGregor can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @bdmacgregor.

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