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New app allows you to track buses in Racine

Posted: 5:29 PM, Jan 20, 2016
Updated: 2016-01-20 18:29:08-05
RACINE -- There may be nothing worse for some folks than waiting in the middle of winter for a bus and trusting it will be on time.
 
If only there were a way to track it. Now in Racine there's an app for that.
 
UW-Parkside computer science classmates planned the program in their simulated work setting -- The App Factory.
 
Assistant professor Derrick Riley believes this lab prepares his students for the real world. 
 
"Yeah, that’s the basis for what we’re trying to do here is we’re trying to take students outside the classroom so they can actually work on real projects with real clients," he said. "It translates into experience they can take to future employers and it jumps starts their careers."
 
One of the students involved in the project agrees. He said the experience has been invaluable. 
 
"Right now I have the skill set to go out and work as a mobile developer right now," Kyle Zawacki said. "As it is, I go to meet ups, I have all the skills they have. So I’ll probably go out and work at some mobile development firm in Chicago or something."
 
The cost to the city of Racine was remarkably little -- a couple thousand dollars. 
 
Transit manager Michael Maierle feels it's as much about experience as expense.
 
"The great thing about this app is that it makes riding the bus more fun and practical for people that are oriented toward their phones, which many people are these days," he said.
 
Most of the bus riders TODAY'S TMJ4 talked to have yet to try the app -- it's relatively new -- but developers hope eventually people will use it, making life a lot easier. 
 
The app works on both iPhone and Android operating systems and can be downloaded by searching for "Belle Urban System" in the Apple App Store or Google Play.