New application allows instant tracking of Vern Express


Officials unveiled a new application last week allowing users to instantly track the Vern Express.

Updated: July 5, 2017 at 10:23 a.m.

Students will have a new way to track the Vern Express when traveling to or from the Mount Vernon Campus.

Officials worked with the transit technology company TransLoc to launch an application allowing students, faculty and staff to track the location of Vex shuttles and get arrival prediction times online or on a smartphone, University spokesman Brett Zongker said. The app was unveiled last week.

Students could already track the Vex through the GW Mobile app, but Zongker said the new service will be more accurate and give users an “enhanced tracking experience.”

Zongker said officials developed the app after students requested a better tracking service for the Vex, similar to how Uber and other ride hailing services provide users a location and estimated arrival time for their ride.

“The GW community relies on the Vern Express as a vital link connecting our campuses and an important service to the University community,” Zongker said in an email.

The app will track buses in real-time, provide arrival predictions and allow students to be alerted through a text message or app notification when a shuttle arrives. The service will also alert students to weather and traffic delays, schedule changes and stop relocations, he said.

Zongker added that the service uses GPS data to track vehicles and is already used by more than 200 providers.

Several of the University’s peer institutions also use the app, including Boston, Emory, Georgetown and Northwestern universities, according to TransLoc’s website.

Zongker declined to say how much it cost the University to develop the service.

The app is available for Android and iPhone and also available to view in a web browser. While the app can also be accessed through the GW Mobile app, some features are still being added to this version over the summer, Zongker said.

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