Students create LIMO GPS tracking

A senior capstone project done by five seniors in the College of Engineering could make Marquette’s LIMO system more accessible for students. Clyde Hoffmann, Paul Bono, Lauren Adrian, Corey Bost and Nick Malcolm have been working all year on the project, a website that can track LIMOs in real-time.

Hoffmann said the group hopes to make waiting for a LIMO a better experience for students.

“The goal was to give students a way so they can see where LIMOs are in real time, wherever they are,” Hoffmann said. “Students may be at the library and taking a LIMO home (but) have no idea when it will arrive. … A lot of people decide to walk instead.”

But the group is limiting itself to tracking LIMO Express vans, saying the standard LIMOs change directions too often.

“Tracking the blue vans wouldn’t help,” Hoffmann said. “(The LIMO Express vans) have fixed routes … so we just focused on tracking them.”

Marquette’s Department of Public Safety, which oversees the LIMO system, has made no plans to adopt the tracking system this semester. Nevertheless, the group remains hopeful and has worked with DPS Lieutenant Katherine Berigan throughout the year.

“We’re glad to get the information out there,” Hoffmann said. “(We’re) not taking a dig at DPS, but I think it’s fair for students to be able to ask why we don’t have this. We’ve proved it’s technologically possible and wouldn’t cost a lot of money.”

The tracking system utilizes the GPS function of Android smart phones, which would be placed in LIMOs. Students can then track the LIMOs on the group’s website by using a computer or their own smart phone.

Hoffmann said he got the idea when he was a Marquette Student Government senator last year and DPS Director Larry Rickard gave a presentation on student safety to MUSG and the possibility of LIMO tracking was raised.

Bono said one of the group’s concerns is maintaining support for the system after its five members graduate.

“If something were to happen to the device, (people) wouldn’t know how to fix it,” Bono said. “We built it ourselves from scratch and we’re all graduating, so we can’t provide them with that service.”