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‘Transloc is buns': DSG Senate hears updates on Rider app dissatisfaction

<p>Ivan Robles, vice president of equity and outreach, asks about the use of "embark" in so many groups' event names.&nbsp;</p>

Ivan Robles, vice president of equity and outreach, asks about the use of "embark" in so many groups' event names. 

For the second year in a row, Duke students expressed their dissatisfaction with TransLoc’s Rider app in a Duke Student Government survey.

Out of 232 respondents to DSG’s 2019-20 Undergraduate IT Perspectives survey, 70 left comments related to the app, which allows students to track the location of buses on campus and their arrival times at bus stops, Senator Shrey Majmudar, a sophomore, told the DSG Senate Wednesday night. He presented the results of the survey with Senator Catherine McMillan, also a  sophomore. 

“This was by far the number one thing that we took away from this survey for the second year in a row, so we’re going to be working on that,” Majmudar said.

In the comments, which Majmudar listed in the senators’ presentation about the results, students vented their frustration with the app. 

“Transloc never works right,” lamented one respondent, while another wrote that “Rider is rarely accurate.” 

Some of the responses were detailed—like “Transloc also fails to show every bus running most of the time, namely the C3”—while others were blunt, such as “TransLoc is buns. Virtually never accurate.”

More students said they were “very dissatisfied” or “dissatisfied” with the app than had positive opinions in the survey. Last year’s survey saw Rider receive more than three times more “dissatisfied” and “very dissatisfied” responses than any other service. 

Majmudar said at the meeting that the Senate reached out to TransLoc and to Carl DePinto, director of parking and transportation services, after last year’s survey, but that “not much came out of it, unfortunately.”

TransLoc told The Chronicle last year that the company’s engineering team was working to improve the process by which operators could correct issues. 

“Feedback like this is really valuable and we’ll continue working with our partners at Duke’s Parking and Transportation Services to find optimal solutions for Duke students and riders,” Ron Cygnarowicz, TransLoc's vice president of customers, wrote in an email last year. “We take rider feedback very seriously and we respond quickly to tickets generated to us by Parking and Transportation Services."

TransLoc, DePinto and Majmudar did not respond to requests for comment in time for publication.

Although students expressed frustration with on-campus WiFi last year, respondents were largely neutral or positive in their views of Duke’s assorted networks this year. The exception was outdoor connectivity, with more “dissatisfied” responses than any other network.

Respondents had very high opinions of DukeCard on mobile devices, though the presentation noted that some students complained about glitches.

In other business

The Senate approved $2,660 in Student Organization Finance Committee funding for Embark, an event hosted by the Duke Catholic Center that is designed to give Catholic seniors and their friends the tools to be successful outside of Duke. 

Finally, the Senate approved the charter of the Duke Anime Club, which aims to “establish a community around the anime, comics or manga, and games culture,” according to the group’s constitution.

Editor's Note: An earlier photo caption incorrectly labeled Robles as a senator; he is the vice president for equity and outreach. The Chronicle regrets the error.


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