Texting service unfamiliar within University

Maria Britos / Contributing writer

When anyone has a concern or comment about transportation within the University, most students remain quiet or simply complain to their friends. What they don’t know, or haven’t heard of, is the Department of Parking and Transportation’s BusBuzz Text Connect service.

Promoted on the buses and shuttles, this service is a text messaging service that provides bus routes and schedules, safety rules and allows riders to text comments and concerns.These texts are immediately replied the Department of Parking and Transportation with a list of options for the person to pick according to the purpose of the text.

Lissette Hernandez, director of Parking and Transportation, said that this service is a partnership with the University and a vendor which Parking and Transportation has hired.

This vendor is called Solstice Transportation Group, which specializes in providing large institutions with the proper tools to develop better transportation systems. The department uses the company’s services for bus passenger transportation consulting, evaluation and service performance analysis.

STG attends and participates in a variety of educational seminars and conferences provided by industry leading associations including the International Parking Institute, BusCon, the American Public Transit Association, the Parking Association of Georgia and the Carolinas Parking Association. Most of their clients include colleges and universities, city transit systems and larger institutions.

“This is how we hope to know how the bus service does on a daily basis and we can get firsthand information from the riders,” said Hernandez. “We get a report weekly, aside for the immediate notification when an email or text is sent.”

Hernandez also said that this service is covered by student tuition, which then is given back to students.

“It is part of the parking and transportation overall operation,” said Hernandez. “However, the problem is that the service isn’t being used as much as it should be and the little that it is used, the category with the highest feedback is the ‘complaints.’”

“I have honestly never heard of it, but I’m guessing it could be beneficial to the buses,” said Mitch Prieto, a sophomore public relations major, who commutes by bus from Modesto Maidique Campus to Biscayne Bay Campus on a daily basis.

The department expects this service to be promoted with more advertising around both campuses.

“The more this service is advertised and the riders are aware of it, the more effective it will be,” said Hernandez.