Students create bus stop update display
GVL / Courtesy
Rarely does waking up late and rushing to class lead to any breakthrough ideas, but that’s exactly what happened one morning to Thomas Nicholas, a sophomore advertising and public relations major who founded B-STUD.
The Bus Stop Time Update Display, or B-STUD, came to Nicholas after waking up late for class one morning and knowing that he had to leave as soon as possible to catch the bus.
“I left home without checking to see when the bus would be arriving, figuring it would be there around the time it usually is," he said. "I was wrong, and ended up waiting in limbo for ten minutes. During that moment, standing there late for class, I thought to myself, ‘I wish I knew how long until the bus arrives so I could have made a decision ten minutes earlier to either drive or wait.’”
So he thought of B-STUD, which is “a sustainable module installed at bus stops that will inform you if the bus is on time, late or early and, moreover, will provide daily forecasts, weekly forecasts and amber and campus emergency alerts.” His hope is that the product will eliminate the anxiety caused by bus arrivals.
Nicholas knew he couldn't make his idea become a product on his own, so Stan Bishop and Michael Pratt joined the project. They call themselves the B-STUD team. They each play a very important role in the product.
Pratt, behavioral analyst and platform consultant, is a senior majoring in psychology in philosophy.
“Currently, my role mostly involves cultivating and refining our business platform and presentation," he said. "This includes engaging the language of our business plan, memorandums, presentations and public relations and, moreover, analyzing and researching long-term project development and projection. Once the project has developed further, my responsibilities will include internal and external behavioral and decision-making analysis, demographic-specific marketing strategies and human resources management.”
Bishop is a senior with a computer science major and is the group's software director.
“From a software standpoint, the project is fairly simple," Bishop said. "The biggest decisions we have to make are what platforms we want to use to present the user interface and how we incorporate dynamic ad space without being too disruptive to the end users at the bus stop. As the lead software developer, it’s my job to organize and implement the design choices made by us as a team.”
A cellular application that tracks exact bus arrival already exists, but they believe their product can do it better.
“Our product offers the same service for those who either don’t have a smart phone and the app or don’t want to waste the storage space on their phones. Broadly construed, the benefits of this product are three-parted,” Bishop said.
“First, B-STUD is beneficial for those who use the product on a day-to-day basis in virtue of eliminating the anxiety caused by inconsistent bus arrival and by offering valuable information such as daily weather forecasts, weekly weather forecasts and campus safety and amber alerts," Bishop added. "Secondly, it’s beneficial for transportation services in virtue of offering a platform for advertising. By offering affordable advertising slots for both local and big businesses, transportation services will enable to generate more revenue in addition to their traditional, static advertisements.
“Lastly, B-STUD is beneficial for big and local businesses by offering platforms for large scale, blanket advertising and, moreover, providing the opportunity for geo-targeted marketing for businesses within the individual market.”
Though they don’t have the funding in order to get the project going yet, they have an idea on how it will be mainstreamed in the future.
“After conducting trial runs to demonstrate the products efficacy, we intend to reach out to other potentially interested transportation services in suitable markets," Bishop said. "Regarding advertising specifics, a typical module will feature three advertisement spaces for $1,000 per space, and each space will run for four weeks. Sponsors will pay $1,000 for an individual module and, moreover, pay a licensing fee every subsequent month after the initial purchase; the baseline licensing fee will be 20 percent with an additional percentage based on bus stop specific traffic.”
Before the B-STUD team goes any further, they’re looking to add two more members to their team. They’re in need of a graphic artist as well as a videographer to help with a Kickstarter video. The brief survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/6ZCG6D9, and everyone that participates has a chance to win a $25 Cold Stone gift card.