New App For UNMC “Where Is My Bus?”

Ever stood at a bus stop in pouring rain or scorching heat, and wondered where the bus was, or, worse, whether it was going to come at all? According to many students at the University’s Malaysia campus (UNMC), such uncertainty is one of the biggest factors when deciding to drive to campus instead of opting for one of the environmentally and financially less damaging free bus services, to and from the TTS housing estate, Kajang railway station, TBS interchange station and, the newest addition, KLTC in the heart of KL. Hopefully this is soon to be a worry of the past thanks to the ‘Where is my bus’ app!

Michael Chin Jian Ji‘s summer internship project, with the catchy title “Where is my bus?”, developed a bus tracking system to allow UNMC students to check the location of the University buses from the GPS data collected by the bus service provider. The project was initiated by the Environmental Committee, and advised and guided by Abba Lawan from the (postgraduate) Sustainability Research Network and Dr Tim Brailsford from the School of Computer Science.

Over the last few months the bus service provider has phased in a fleet of smart new buses dedicated to the UNMC routes.

The web and mobile Android application will provide basic tracking features, including checking the available buses and their routes, updating the bus status by providing its estimated arrival time at bus stops and checking the schedule of the buses. Estimated arrival time of each bus to a destination will be provided by displaying a simple text on the screen, e.g. “Arriving in 5 minutes”, “Bus has arrived” or “Bus has left the stop” instead of the much less user-friendly live GPS data. Future plans are to enhance the app by adding features to allow bus users to communicate and comment on their experiences.

In the coming weeks, at the beginning of the autumn semester, the system will be tested on a selected small group of bus users against the scheduled and real time bus movements. All being well, the app may be launched as early as November for general use. Watch this space for more updates! Michael would like to thank his friends and fellow UNMC Electrical Engineering students Swaraj Dube, Lim Leong Cheong, Ryan Goh Chuang Hong and Cheah Dik Ken for supporting him as his project technical team.

Regular bus users at UNMC interested in being part of the early test group and thus the first to get their hands on the app, please apply via the SA website.

UNMC Environmental Committee report on the output of a summer internship project

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