BC Transit to launch new bus tracking and announcement technology

Jan 15 2022, 2:46 am

Digital amenities already found on the TransLink bus system in Metro Vancouver will soon be rolled out province-wide on the BC Transit network.

The provincial transit authority announced this week it will further expand its NextRide automatic vehicle location technology in about 315 buses on all conventional, fixed routes.

The technology allows more passengers to see real-time bus locations along routes, and identify the predicted arrival times for any stop.

In addition, as amenity features for passengers, there will be onboard, automated bus stop announcements, which improves the experience and overall accessibility of the BC Transit system. The technology also enables BC Transit to feed bus location data to its own NextRide website, Google Maps, and the Transit App to provide new and improved ways for passengers to plan their trip.

NextRide is already available in Victoria, Nanaimo, Kelowna, Squamish, Whistler, Comox Valley, and Kamloops, after an initial phase rollout between 2018 and 2019.

For the current project of expanding to other areas of the province, two installation teams will work on the rollout, starting with the Cowichan Transit System this month. The Fraser Valley will see its installation sometime in Spring 2022. By this summer, all 20 communities in this final phase of the NextRide rollout will see installation completed.

“Expanding the NextRide program will improve the customer experience, increase safety for riders and drivers, improve accessibility for users and provide important data for better route planning that will benefit customers across the province,” said Tim Croyle, vice resident of operations and COO of BC Transit, in a statement.

“We’re excited to introduce NextRide into new transit systems with our new partner Consat to make it more convenient to use transit, no matter where you live.”

The current work for NextRide will cost about $6 million, with the federal government covering 50%, the provincial government covering 40%, and local governments covering 10%.

“It’s great to see the successful NextRide program being rolled out across the province. State-of-the-art technology like this will enhance the user experience, encourage more people to leave their cars at home and help rebuild transit ridership as we emerge from COVID-19,” said Rob Fleming, the BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

BC Transit’s NextRide 2022 installation schedule:

  • January 2022 – Cowichan Valley
  • February 2022 – Port Alberni
  • February 2022 – Campbell River
  • Spring 2022 – Fraser Valley Transit Systems
  • Spring 2022 – Vernon Regional
  • Spring 2022 – Shuswap Regional
  • Spring 2022 – South Okanagan-Similkameen
  • Spring 2022 – Dawson Creek
  • Spring 2022 – Fort St. John
  • Spring 2022 – Powell River Regional Transit System
  • Summer 2022 – Sunshine Coast
  • Summer 2022 – Prince George
  • Summer 2022 – Kitimat, Skeena Regional and Terrace Regional
  • Summer 2022 – Prince Rupert/Port Edward
  • Summer 2022 – Cranbrook
  • Summer 2022 – Kimberley
  • Summer 2022 – Elk Valley
  • Summer 2022 – Columbia Valley
  • Summer 2022 – Creston Valley
  • Summer 2022 – West Kootenay

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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