University of Southern Indiana students will again have a free shuttle service between the campus and Evansville.
The university has renewed an agreement with the Metropolitan Evansville Transit System and Vanderburgh County to maintain the shuttle service. The city and county will each contribute $25,000 this year toward the cost, and the university will pay $130,000.
"From my perspective, it is just good economic development to have students from Evansville attending school at USI," said Vanderburgh County Commission President Joe Kiefer. "It is a good public service to provide that transportation for students to get out to campus."
METS buses normally run only within the city limits, and the USI campus is in Vanderburgh County. That is why the county contributes to the shuttle service, Kiefer said.
The contract allows USI students to take the shuttle — which runs every 30 minutes — from campus to the West Side Schnuck's Plaza transfer terminal for free. From there, students may take one free bus transfer, then they have to pay the fare, said Evansville's director of transportation services, Todd Robertson.
USI is the only local college or university to contract with METS for student bus service. The university pays for the contract using student parking and transportation fees, which is a fee students pay based on the number of credit hours they take in a given term, said Steve Woodall, USI's director of the Office of Public Safety.
In 2013, 15,135 people took the METS shuttle bus to and from campus. Of those, 12,440 were students.
"That is a great benefit for the students out there," Robertson said.
Where's my bus?
Students can track the location of any of the University of Southern Indiana Shuttles in real time using a web and mobile ap called DoubleMap.
DoubleMap tracks a GPS signal from the bus to show where they are on the route at any given time.
It's helpful for students "especially during inclement weather," said Steve Woodall, USI's director of the Office of Public Safety. "Students can look at it and see when the bus will arrive."
DoubleMap, an Indianapolis-based company, formed in 2009, hosts real-time bus tracking applications for several other colleges and universities.
USI began using the DoubleMap services in the fall.
View USI's bus route at usi.doublemap.com/map, or download the ap to your mobile device.
Copyright 2014 - Evansville Courier & Press, Ind.