‘WUSTL Circulator’ app now available

| Contributing Reporter

Students rushing to class no longer have to guess the location and timing of the Campus Circulator, as long as they have access to an Apple device.

Late Tuesday night, the “WUSTL Circulator” app was approved by Apple Inc. and made available in the App Store. It is available free of charge and compatible on the iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and iPad Mini.

An Android version is currently in development and is expected to be released in two to six weeks.

The project began more than a year ago, when senior Vinoo Ganesh created a basic version of the app for a computer programming class. Since then, various organizations on campus, including Information Services & Technology, Student Union, Parking & Transportation and the Office of Public Affairs have worked with Ganesh to create and implement the app.

John Bailey, assistant director of Student Technology Services, and graduate student Oliver Jones were also involved in much of the day-to-day work on the app.

“Once we had Vinoo’s infrastructure, we had to get the app to talk to other computers, and that’s where I came in,” Jones said. “John played a major role in researching which GPS devices we could use [to be installed on the circulator buses] and helped work out our plans for the app with others [at the University].”

Approximately 150 to 200 hours of work and several versions went into deciding the best way to present the information that the app includes. On the final version, a map displays an individual’s location relative to the location of the circulator, which updates every five seconds. The app also displays each of the six circulator stops and allows students to search by location for a particular stop schedule.

“It is nice to have an impact on the University community with little to no cost,” Jones said. “I feel like this application makes Wash. U. unique in that it strengthens its mobile presence.”

Ganesh expressed that he had two main goals in mind while creating the app. First, he hoped to encourage green transportation methods by providing a way for direct monitoring of public transportation. He said he also was concerned about student safety for late-night circulator riders.

Sophomore Daniel Schuman was enthusiastic about the app’s release. “It’s right on the money—it’s fantastic,” he said. “I was very impressed with the accuracy of it.”

“This is definitely a team project, and it was great working with everyone,” Director of Parking & Transportation Services Nicholas Stoff said. “We were lucky not to have any major hold-ups. STS and Vinoo definitely did their homework. And hopefully the app will be beneficial to the students, faculty and staff.”

  • Barb Braun

    This is an example of great collaboration between students, Parking & Transportation Services, and STS! Thanks to Vinoo, Oliver, and John for the technical work and thanks to Nick for your support. Proud of you all!! – Barb Braun, Director, STS