Staff Editorial: Harnessing technology to improve student life

Now that 4-RIDE and the Vern Express both have GPS tracking systems, student life will be safer and move a bit more efficiently when traveling from one place to another.

Since the start of this school year, students have been able to monitor the arrival times of Vern Express shuttles through a system that can be viewed online or by text message. 4-RIDE released a new online portal where students can reserve shuttles up to two hours in advance and track the location of the vans using Google maps just last week.

This use of technology is critical for improving campus safety. Students should not have to stand by themselves in front of the Red Cross’s Vern Express stop wondering when the next shuttle is coming. 4-RIDE often picks students up from off-campus locations, making it even more imperative that we are aware of when exactly a shuttle is coming and where it will be.

Students enjoy leaving campus and using D.C. as their playground. These changes to 4-RIDE demonstrate that the University is even taking responsibility for student safety when they leave the boundaries of the Foggy Bottom campus, as students won’t necessarily have to wait outside for the shuttle service to pick them up.

Seeing technology used in such an innovative manner is also an encouraging sign because it demonstrates that the University is looking for new ways to continually improve student experience. Innovative technology will be essential for building the most dynamic and efficient campus and will undoubtedly be critical for student life in the future. Hopefully these improvements are just a few steps in the University’s effort to harness the power of new technology to improve student life.

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