Penn State news by
Penn State's student blog



Innovations in Public Transportation Notification

magic-school-busPreviously, the Collegian has written about the CATA bus times sign at the Pattee Library stop and also, more recently, OS has written about CATA’s InfoPoint system of bus tracking. Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t need a computer to figure out when the next Blue Loop was going to pull up to the Allen Street Gates? If you could use some type of portable or mobile device, would that be helpful?

For students at the University of Michigan, all bus tracking dreams have come true. Scott Wolchok, a Ph.D. student in Computer Science and Engineering,

…recently created UmBus, a program that allows students to check Magic Bus — an online bus tracking service — from their cell phones. By texting “umbus” to 41411, and using a few simple commands, students can find out when a bus will be arriving at a specific stop.

The ability to text and find out the bus location makes this service a lot more usable because there is not always a computer present. It’s wintertime, and people don’t want to stand outside in the cold longer than they have to.

According to Wolchok, what makes UmBus really useful is that it’s available to any text message-enabled cell phone, not just those with Internet access.

I hate to say it, but maybe Michigan did something that should be emulated? Recently, CATA has made important leaps in their notification technology. It would be nice if they made this one too.

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

About the Author

Eli Glazier

Eli is a junior majoring in International Politics. He enjoys paninis and books.

Charity & Thrift Store Centre Peace Helping Incarcerated

“If they make a mistake, it’s not a failure unless you don’t try again.”

Penn State Softball Shines After Best Start In Program History

The Nittany Lions are off to a 11-1 start through their first two tournaments.

What To Do In Philly Over Spring Break

Between the Flyers, an Offset concert, and a LEGO exhibit, there’s plenty to do in Philadelphia next week.

Follow on Another Platform
Other posts by Eli

Senior Writes Final Column

Senior columns, with all their melodrama and platitudes, usually leave me eye-rolling and shaking my head with a vigor usually reserved for study abroad blog posts. But, as I graduate a week from today, I figured I should give it a go myself. Rather than discuss the origins of Onward State like Evan,  I’d just like to briefly thank a few individuals who have defined my Penn State experience.

Speakers Released, Collective “Who?” Uttered

Onward Debates: Private State University