Bus services take on student's work

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 22/08/2014
Taylor Hamling
DAVID UNWIN/FAIRFAX NZ
Taylor Hamling is a Massey University student who has developed a website that tells people when the next bus to campus will be coming by.

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A Massey University computer science student has designed a website to help classmates find out when the next bus is due.

Taylor Hamling created Late for the Bus during his spare time and his efforts have gained support from Horizons Regional Council.

The third-year student's website pulls data from the regional council's website. Students enter a travel time and preferred route to see when the next bus is coming to or going from the university.

"Really, I just like creating things that are useful for myself," Hamling said. "I actually created Late for the Bus during my first week of university as I had so much spare time and was thinking of ideas that could help me.

"Last year I created the Massey University Timetabler, which students can use on any device to generate an exam timetable based on their semester's papers."

Hamling said the feedback had been mostly positive, with the only drawbacks being that it required up-to-date web browsers. With a modern browser the site is usable on any smartphone, tablet or computer.

Hamling said he was interested in programming before he started studying it at Massey.

"However, what I learnt there has definitely pushed me to a higher level and given me an insight into what tools are available. I also do a lot of my own research and investigations to find out how to do things. So I would say it is a combination of professional study and self-teaching."

Hamling's work has impressed Horizons transport officer Denise Webber, who said she liked its simplicity for student users.

"A large proportion of Palmerston North bus users are Massey students and staff. This web application cuts out the noise for these users and allows them to filter the timetable based on their needs," Webber said. "It ties in nicely with work we're currently undertaking as part of the network review to create a bus network that meets the needs of our community."

Horizons will link to Hamling's site from the passenger transport section of its own website for the next three months. Traffic will be monitored during this trial period to see how popular the application is among users.

The website can be found at taylorhamling.com/lateforthebus.

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- Manawatu Standard

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