GopherTrip simplifies University bus system

A new app, exclusive to University buses, shows routes and real-time locations on campus.

University students get on and off the campus connector bus on Dec. 5, 2015.

Daily File Photo

University students get on and off the campus connector bus on Dec. 5, 2015.

Allison Cramer

Thanks to GopherTrip, University of Minnesota senior Krista Hamann no longer wastes time in the morning waiting for a bus that’s running behind schedule or already full.

The app, launched in July, shows the routes, locations and schedules of University buses.

Parking and Transportation Services communications manager Jacqueline Brudlos said the department launched the app after signing a new contract with First Transit, its bus service provider.

“Part of our University bus service is provided through a contract, and the contract was up for renewal,” Brudlos said. “This GopherTrip program was wrapped into the new contract, so it replaces our old NextBus service that we had.”

Hamann said before GopherTrip she used NextBus, also a bus-tracking app, but thinks the new University app is easier to use and displays information clearly and in real-time.

“I actually really like it better than the app that there was before because it’s just the University buses,” Hamann said. “Before it was really confusing trying to find out which city buses were stopping where, and it wasn’t as accurate.”

Freshman Casey McNichols said she likes the app and she’s been using it to help her ride the buses.

“It helps in figuring out how to get around campus,” McNichols said. “But it’s not always accurate.”

Brudlos said the University ended up launching the app earlier than planned to test it out before the school year started.

“August was kind of a testing period, we were working out some issues, but we have heard good feedback from students and staff, which is great to hear,” Brudlos said.