By Gabriela Resto-Montero
GREENWICH VILLAGE — NYU beat the MTA to the punch with the launch of a system that tracks its entire fleet of private university buses online.
The technology lets students check the buses' location on computers and smartphones, and is designed to make long waits at stops unnecessary.
"Providing real time bus information has been challenging in New York City, and we are very pleased that this is the first such system that has been technologically feasible," Fred Barlow, assistant director for Security Administration, University Transportation and Training for the Department of Public Safety, told DNAinfo.
The MTA launched a pilot program tracking its two M16 and M34 lines back in October, but has not yet been able to extend it.
All of NYU's six bus routes, including three routes in Washington Square and three at the Langone Medical Center, as well as the school's trolleys and Safe Ride vans, are on the tracking system.
The university declined to disclose the cost of the project.
Contracted by the TransLoc firm, which also provides similar services to other universities including Princeton and Yale, the tracking information would be available online during the times when a route was in service, Barlow said.
Students with smartphones can download a free App that will also track the service.
Now that it's cold outside, knowing when the bus would arrive would help her plan her time indoors better, said Amy Oliver, 20, a junior at the Stern School of Business.
"Usually, I have no idea at what time the bus is coming," Oliver said. "The alert will just be easier."
Preeti Sankar, 20, a junior Economics student who lives off-campus in Gramercy, said the bus tracking technology was a nice perk to have.
"There are things that are annoying about NYU, like the dorm prices," Sankar said. "But now we get a swanky new bus system."