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What’s Up with the CATA App?

As you leave your apartment/dorm, you check your trusty CATA app and see that the bus is still two stops away.

Sweet, you think to yourself, just in time!

Nothing can bring you down right now and you walk to the bus stop with a smile on your face, bobbing your head to some music. But just as the stop comes into view you watch as the last student boards its hallowed walls and your preferred Loop drives away into the horizon.

Most of us have now learned better than to put our implicit trust in the CATA app with its frequent crashes and occasionally unreliable information, but is there any hope that we can one day track our beloved Loops and Links with peace of mind?

CATA Service Development Manager Eric Bernier set the record straight that recently there have been significantly less issues with inaccuracies in location.

“We haven’t really heard any substantial amount of complaints about delays or inaccuracies about the app,” Bernier said. “Most of the complaints recently have to do with the stability and the crashes of the app the past months.”

The app has been updated since its early days of constant refreshing while staring at stagnant bus dots. While the earlier version of the app was based on web server data that updated every 30 seconds, the newest version is updating at a more frequent rate resulting in much more accurate location data.

“We’ve gotten very few complaints about the accuracy of the app when it’s working,” Bernier said. “The real complaints we’ve had have been since that update. We’ve had stability issues. Every now and then the back-end web server will go down and the app will show no information.”

But are we all going to have to continue shivering out in the cold in a state of uncertainty at deserted bus stops? According to Bernier, they’re working on it.

“We’re knocking out a few remaining issues,” Bernier said. “We kinda got ahead of ourselves to think that in the next eight or nine months the back-end data would be stable.”

The high traffic of students trying to use the CATA app has also played a role in its frequent crashing. But Bernier says he believes they are close to a “happy medium,” providing the most information possible without bringing the system down.

On a final note he added: “We’re in the process of letting the app development go out to third parties and are more than happy to accommodate app developers.”

If you think you’re up for the challenge and hope to be the new hero to bus goers, contact Eric Bernier at [email protected].

But until then, may the odds be ever in your favor.

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About the Author

Sarah Desiderio

Senior. Print Journalism Major, English and Sociology Minors. I'm smarter than the average 9 year old and funnier than most plants.

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