How does the system work?
Each bus is carrying a GPS unit that uses cell tower technology to send exact coordinate positions of the bus to our web page and our mobile site.
How can I access the tracking system?
The system can be accessed multiple ways. To view the map, which shows the location of the buses, you can:
- Refer to Parking and Transportation section of the Public Safety website
- Download the free “Ride Systems” mobile app to your mobile device from the Apple or Android marketplaces and launch the app. The first time you launch the app, you will have to select “Lafayette College” from the list, which will set it as the default. In addition to a map view, you can request a text that will tell you when the bus is expected to arrive at a particular scheduled bus stop.
What are the WHITE dots on the route?
The white dots indicate the location of the scheduled bus stops. You can click on the icon representing a bus stop to see the name of the stop, the stop #, and, if the bus is in service, the next times the bus is expected to arrive at that stop.
What do the colors mean?
Each color signifies a different shuttle route. Select the route in which you are interested or select “Show All Routes,” and the map of the route(s) will appear along with any bus that is currently dispatched to that route. The route and the bus icons will be color coordinated so you know what bus is running on what route.
- A colored dot with an arrow represents that the bus is moving in the direction of the arrow.
- A colored dot with a red square in the middle means that the bus has stopped momentarily.
You can click on the icon representing the bus to see the bus and route names.
Remember that not all routes run on all days. Certain routes only run on certain days of the week and certain routes only run on certain specific dates.
Why can’t I see the bus on the website?
If you have selected a route and don’t see a bus icon on the route, there may not be a bus scheduled to run at that particular time/day/date. Certain routes only run on particular days of the week and certain routes only run on certain specific dates.
If you are sure the bus should be running when you are viewing the map and you still don’t see the bus icon, refresh your screen. If you still don’t see it, there may be a system error, so please report it via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will make every effort to identify and correct the problem as soon as we can.
How much of a delay is there in reporting the bus locations?
Generally, the system will update the location of the LCAT Shuttle about every 5 seconds, but cell reception in a particular area and your own internet speed may add slight delays. Although the system is nearly real time, when using it to calculate distance, it is safer to assume the bus is a little ahead of where it appears.
Is there an app for this?
Go to iTunes or the Android Marketplace and search for “Ride Systems.” Once you download the app and launch it for the first time, you will be presented with a list of all of the entities that use the Ride Systems software. Scroll down to the letter L and choose “Lafayette.” Once you select it, Lafayette will be your default every time you open the app.
Who/What is Ride Systems?
Ride Systems is the company that provides the shuttle tracking software. If you opt to download the mobile app rather than using the mobile website version, you will have to search in iTunes or the Android Marketplace for “Ride Systems.”
How does the texting system work?
You can request a text letting you know when the next time the bus is scheduled to arrive at a particular stop.
- First, you have to know the code for the bus stop. These codes are available on the website in parentheses preceding the name of the bus stop.
- Then text LCAT[stop number code] to 41411
- Be sure to text the word LCAT, a space, and then the actual stop number code; without a stop code you will be presented a list of routes from which to choose.
- You will immediately receive real-time arrival times for that stop
How do I find the number/code for a particular bus stop to use with the texting system?
Whenever the stop name appears, the stop number will appear in parentheses immediately before the stop name. In the example below, the stop at 6th and Northampton Street has a stop number/code of 4. Keep in mind that certain stops (like the Williams Center for the Arts) may appear in a route twice—once when the bus is on its way to the Giant grocery store and once when it’s on its way to downtown Easton. For each of those scheduled stops, the Williams Center for the Arts will have a different code, so be careful to select the one you that interests you.
Why is the Special Shuttle route different from the other routes?
Because the Special Shuttle route is not a loop, the system cannot easily connect its stops with a line on the map nor can it calculate a predicted arrival time. But you can still see the scheduled stops and the current location of the bus. Don’t forget that you must make a special reservation to travel between campus and Lehigh Valley International Airport. The bus will not travel to/from the airport unless a reservation has been made at least 4 business days in advance of the date of travel.
Why do some of the buses move off their normal routes?
Although the drivers try to adhere to the route whenever possible, road construction projects, traffic accidents, weather conditions and other circumstances may prompt them to alter their route occasionally.
Who manages the buses?
The College contracts with Palmeri Transportation, which owns the buses and provides our drivers. Among other things, Palmieri is responsible for ensuring the right vehicles appear on the right routes within the tracking system.
Why does the driver have a tablet in the bus?
The tablet is enabled to send the GPS signal for the tracking system. The driver is also using software on the tablet to count the number of students getting on or off the bus at a particular stop. This data tells us what stops and times are the most popular for students, which is helpful when we consider modifications to the service schedule. The driver can only use the passenger counting software on the tablet; it is locked for all other use so as not to provide a distraction that would interfere with the safety of the students and the driver.
What if the LCAT Shuttle isn’t going where/when I need to go?
The LCAT shuttle system is a free transportation service available to students that runs scheduled, defined routes on certain days. The routes are designed to try to accommodate the vast majority of student interests, but unfortunately, that doesn’t mean it will always be going where you need to when you need to. If you are going beyond walking distance, other options are:
The UHaul Car Share Program –This is a membership program you can join that allows you to rent cars parked on campus by the hour or by the day. To learn more, check out https://uhaulcarshare.com and pick “Easton, PA/Lafayette College.”
Taxi Services – There are several taxi services available in Easton that you can call to inquire about costs and to schedule a ride wherever you need to go.
Local Public Bus Service – LANTA is a public bus service that runs throughout the Lehigh Valley region (http://www.lantabus.com). LANTA has a route that comes very close to campus (currently Route #214, but subject to change) that runs to downtown Easton and to the Giant Grocery Store.
Longer Distance Bus Services – There are buses that leave from the Bus Terminal in downtown Easton at 3rd and Ferry Streets that may go to New York City and other areas. The buses that service that terminal may change, but currently include: