New shuttle app proposed to make campus safer

Lloyd Huff, Jr., Staff Writer

A new app is on its way to SUNY Buffalo State as a part of the campus initiative to improve safety.

Coupled with GPS tracking to be retrofitted to the Buffalo State escort shuttles, the app should generally improve shuttle service around campus.

According to University Police Department Chief Peter Carey, the app will enable students to track the location of the shuttle through their smartphones. By knowing the shuttle’s whereabouts, students will be able to spend less time waiting outside where they might be vulnerable. Instead, students will be able to wait in their vehicle until the campus shuttle arrives.

At this time, there is no date set for the implementation of the app, but Carey is hopeful that it will be sooner than later.

“We hope to have it operational within 30 days, but we have to count on vendor participation.  So I cannot guarantee a 30-day time period,” Carey said.

Buffalo State is purchasing the system from an outside vendor. When asked who is designing the app, what the app will cost the school, and if it would be free to use, Carey said, “We are still working all this out. The app will be free though.”

Another app, proposed by United Student Government Executive Vice President Emily Leminger at last week’s town hall meeting is called SafeTrek. The app allows students to contact local police by taking their hand off their phone and not entering their four-digit pin.

While President Katherine Conway-Turner expressed interest in the application at the meeting, she has not said whether or not Buffalo State will promote or partner with the application provider. SafeTrak can be purchased individually as monthly subscription of $3 a month.

In regards to the most recent crime, an armed robbery in the Upton Quad on September 29, there have been no new developments according to Carey, but he said progress is being made. University Police are working with the victim, who Carey declined to identify, and are reviewing on-campus camera footage to obtain clearer descriptions of the suspects.


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