Boston University’s new transportation app, Terrier Transit, will allow students to access transit schedules and find the nearest transportation options.
The app includes information on the BU shuttle, Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority trains and buses, Bluebikes, and Zipcar.
Before the app was created, students could use the BU Mobile app to find nearby shuttles, but the app did not include tracking any other means of transportation.
Carl Larson, deputy director of transportation planning and demand management at the BU, said the university had worked with a company called Moovit to create the app.
“[Moovit] works with different municipalities around the world to create this type of application, ”said Larson. “The difference with our application is that the BU Shuttle information is not available on other applications. “
Users may receive notifications about unexpected disruptions to public transportation, according to the BU Parking and Transportation Services website.
The app allows users to compare transit options and find what works best for them, Larson said.
“We wanted something that would allow people to compare their options,” said Larson, “and really determine whether it made sense to walk or maybe cycle or take the shuttle.”
Larson said he liked seeing all of the options in one place.
“What I really like is being able to just turn it on, and it knows where I am and where the nearest green line stop, bus station and shuttle stop is and Bluebike station, ”Larson said. “I don’t have to go sniffle all these different places to understand my surroundings.
Terrier Transit operates in 98 other countries, according to parking and transportation services website.
Larson said he recommends students experience the functions of the app.
“Try out different ways of getting around,” Larson said. “If you don’t have a Bluebikes subscription, definitely buy them. It’s the fastest way to get around town.
BU has been working on the app for a little over a year, Larson said, but updates or changes to the app may be needed.
“At the start of the school year, it wouldn’t surprise me if there are any adjustments that we identify as needing to be made,” Larson said. “If the app developer releases improvements for their app, we’ll get them as well. “
The app displays live arrival times based on the current location of the train or bus, unless there is a transmitter issue. Larson said the app should “reflect live reality” of where the shuttle is located and when it is expected to arrive.
A Zipcar spokesperson wrote in an email that the service is helping provide mobility during the pandemic.
“With the pandemic impacting many mobility providers in Boston,” the spokesperson wrote, “Zipcar continues to provide UB students, faculty, staff and community members with flexible, convenient access and economical to cars when they need it. “
Zipcar’s new Instant Access feature will allow students to start driving a Zipcar within minutes of registering for the feature, the spokesperson wrote.
Kim Foltz, transportation manager for the Boston Department of Transportation, wrote in an email that Bluebikes allows users to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“[Bluebikes] provides an affordable way to get around, ”Foltz wrote,“ while allowing cyclists to maintain physical distance from other travelers ”.