Students, Faculty, Administrators Team Up To Create SBU Transit GPS System
New “SBU Smart Transit” system developed at Stony Brook connects wireless devices to real-time information on SBU Transit buses, shuttles
STONY BROOK, NY – Last year when the Stony Brook University Transportation & Parking Student Advisory Committee made the suggestion that students would benefit from a real-time tracking system for transit buses and shuttles, University administrators wanted to help. They reached out to the research scientists at the University’s Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology (CEWIT) and issued the challenge. This month, the solution to that challenge, SBU Smart Transit, a global positioning system (GPS) that tracks real-time SBU Transit bus and shuttle locations and passenger occupancy is being introduced campus wide.
The new GPS information system will be rolled out as a pilot on five buses this month. Mobile applications for iPhone, Android and Blackberry are also planned for release before summer 2012. Research and development for SBU Smart Transit has been underway since spring 2011. It is a collaborative effort among undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the Department of Transportation and Parking Operations and CEWIT. Jennifer Wong, Assistant Professor of Computer Science and CEWIT-affiliated faculty member, served as the project manager of the initiative.
“We identified the needs of our passengers and worked closely with the CEWIT team to harness their expertise in developing a solution that best fits the needs of the campus community,” said James O’Connor, Director, Office of Sustainability, Facilities and Services Division at Stony Brook University. “With SBU Smart Transit, a student can be studying in the library or having coffee at the Student Activities Center and have instant access to the location and arrival of their next bus.”
SBU Smart Transit is comprised of multiple components, including wireless routers, automated passenger counters and card-reader technology, which automatically tallies passenger ridership. This information will be used to enhance services by pinpointing peak times of operation and usage patterns. A full software suite including a real time web portal and mobile browser site was also created in order to aid both riders and transportation management.
“By building the project in house, students gained invaluable experience in constructing a real-world system,” said Professor Wong. “The system architecture is designed to be flexible in order to incorporate new features and wireless technology advancements,” she said. “The project represents a great opportunity for continued systems education and University project collaboration.”
The GPS information system will be implemented in three phases beginning in late March with buses equipped on the Hospital/Chapin and Railroad routes. The second phase, beginning in fall 2012 will include the R&D Park Shuttle, Express Route and Inner Loop; and the final phase will be implemented in 2013 with the remainder of all SBU Transit routes. Please visit SBU Smart Transit.
About the Center of Excellence in Wireless and Information Technology
CEWIT was created in 2003 to capitalize on the IT revolution, spur economic growth, advance scientific research, and develop the technologies of tomorrow. CEWIT, the first building in Stony Brook University’s Research and Development Park, is a next-generation research and educational facility whose mission is three-fold: become recognized as a world leader in interdisciplinary research in emerging, critical technologies of the information age; address the skilled technology worker shortage; and foster new enterprise development.
About the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Founded in 1960, the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Stony Brook University is home to seven academic departments: Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Technology and Society. The College aims to provide students with a solid foundation that prepares them to adapt successfully throughout their careers to advances in technology. Hands-on laboratory courses, the undergraduate internship program, and the senior design project provide practical experience in engineering that complements theoretical training. As of 2009, the college is home to about 2,000 undergraduate students, 1,000 graduate students, and a faculty of 148 engineers and applied scientists. It boasts more than 20,000 alumni.
About the Department of Transportation and Parking Operations
The Department of Transportation and Parking Operations provides essential transportation and parking solutions for Stony Brook University on the following campuses: Main Campus (East, West and South), Stony Brook Southampton, and the Research & Development Park.