Ariana Rodriguez | Staff Writer
When FIU partnered up with Freebee, Teslas became a form of free transportation for students. Although it feels like a luxury getting shuttled to class by a Tesla, it’s extremely inconvenient for students.
While the concept of a free shuttle service such as FIU Freebee sounds appealing, some issues need to be addressed sooner rather than later.
Rather than optimizing the transportation service and attempting to hold as many passengers as possible FIU swapped to flashy Teslas– and for many, it turned heads. To me and many other students, it just made my wait time go from 3 minutes to 30 minutes.
Cutting the amount of people that could be taken on a single trip in half has resulted in unbelievable wait times. The prolonged wait times can be frustrating for passengers who rely on the service to commute across the campus or nearby areas efficiently.
Then there are the unreliable and incorrect notifications through the app, such as receiving a message stating “your Freebee has arrived” when it has not, only exacerbating the problem. This misinformation can lead to confusion and inconvenience, especially when students are counting on the timely arrival of the shuttle.
These glitches in the app erode the trust users place in the service, making it less dependable for those who live on campus for daily transportation needs.
Investing in the improvement of the app’s technology and servers is crucial. The glitches and incorrect notifications may be a result of an outdated or overloaded system. Potentially upgrading the app and ensuring it can handle the user load can significantly reduce technical issues.
Along with that, implementing a more accurate real-time tracking system can help users know the exact location of the Freebee at any given time. This feature would reduce uncertainty which provides users with reliable information about the arrival time of the shuttle.
To further alleviate the problem, expanding the Freebee fleet and increasing the frequency of shuttle services should be considered. This would help in accommodating more passengers and reducing the congestion of users waiting for transportation.
Most importantly, establishing a transparent and responsive feedback mechanism can help in understanding user experiences and identifying areas that require improvement. Rating your driver, who is an FIU faculty member, out of 5 stars isn’t enough.
Regularly collecting feedback and actively addressing user concerns can contribute to the continual enhancement of the service. While the FIU Freebee concept is commendable, addressing the issues of long wait times and app glitches is crucial for its effectiveness.
By investing in technology upgrades, improving tracking systems, increasing the fleet and prioritizing user feedback FIU Freebee can transform into a more reliable and user-friendly transportation service for the university community.
The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.