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The Daily Tar Heel

When’s the next bus?

GPS tracking of P2P buses would help students’ transit

Installing GPS tracking systems in the P2P buses around campus would be well worth a marginal increase in student fees.

Student government is currently looking to install NextBus tracking equipment on the P2P buses starting next semester but is still slightly short on cash.

The NextBus system, already used by daytime Chapel Hill Transit buses, allows students to see when the next three buses arrive at any stop via the Internet. GPS locators would be placed on each bus, with a startup cost of $10,000.

The student safety and security committee has already come up with $8,020, and so the remaining costs must come from elsewhere. One idea that has been proposed is to cover the remaining costs with student fees.

Although it may seem that a barrage of University programs are nickel-and-diming students through student fees, this program is well worth the extra few cents.

Not only would the program be beneficial for students for convenience’s sake, but the GPS locators would also be a way of improving safety on campus. The idea was originally pitched by the Student Congress safety committee for this very reason.

Additionally, the startup costs are minimal. Only $1,980 dollars would come from an increase in student fees. With more than 28,000 students, that comes to about seven cents per student.

And there is widespread support for the program. In a survey that was conducted by student government last week, 96 percent of more than 700 respondents said they would use NextBus technology to locate the P2P if such a program existed.

Student Congress should raise student fees next semester to cover this practical program.

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