Modifications to Shuttle App Frustrate Students
Yeshiva University updated the intercampus shuttle app design for the 2019-2020 school year. The new design allows students to make a reservation — now called an “appointment” — up to several weeks in advance. The old design only allowed users to create a reservation for a seat one day before the planned trip. The changes have been released for both the desktop and mobile versions of the app.
Currently, the app is not functioning properly. At time of publication, Beren campus security personnel were still telling students to call the security desk to make a shuttle reservation. At the Wilf campus, security staff asks that students or faculty simply wait at the shuttle stop.
Chief Facilities and Administrative Officer Randy Apfelbaum said that the current app is not new, but various modifications made to the old app make it look different. “We are working on a completely new app which will resolve all the problems of the old one,” he said. Apfelbaum hopes to have the new app up after the chagim.
The previous version of the app was known to frustrate students on many levels. According to many students, one of the most bothersome bugs was a prompt for the user to be logged out of the app every time they attempted to re-log in, even if they tried to stay logged in by checking the “keep me logged in” box.
Similar to the previous app, this year’s update sends an email confirmation to each user after a reservation has been booked. Although students may pick a specific time to reserve their seat, the email confirmation states that the reservation is for the 12:00 am shuttle, no matter what reservation time the student actually requested.
The terminology on the app is also different from last year. First, students must “select service” to take the shuttle from Beren to Wilf or Wilf to Beren. Then, there is a “with” option which prompts users to choose between the Beren or Wilf campus. This addition, as pointed out by Yael Nissel (SCW ‘20) is clearly redundant. “It adds an unnecessary extra step,” she remarked.
Nissel tried to book a reservation on the app about two weeks ago, but after seeing that the app was not working, she decided to call in to the security desk to secure her seat on the shuttle. “It’s pretty confusing at first. It doesn’t seem to be fully working. Times before midnight don’t show up.” Nissel said that last year’s app was much clearer because she was able to see all the times in a smaller space, which was more convenient for her.
Chemda Weiner, a student and resident advisor, has not yet used the app this year but said that there was definitely a need for a new one after she frequently used the preceding app to go to her shifts at the Seforim Sale last year. “It’s a frustrating app,” she said, “It took forever to load.”
She also said that the app was so annoying that she stopped using it at some point, hoping that there was room on it if she stood by the stop and showed her ID to the security guard.
Both YU Security and Information Technology Services did not respond to questions regarding the new app.
Featured Photo Caption: The Shuttle App
Featured Photo Credit: The Commentator/Avi Hirsch