New technology called “NextRide” will be rolling onto public buses across the West Kootenay this summer.
What this technology will provide is real-time bus locales, meaning BC Transit ridership will be able to use web browsers and smart mobile devices to see the location of their bus along its route and its predicted arrival time at an identified stop.
By downloading the Transit App, customers will know exactly when their bus will arrive and it will allow them to see how full a bus is at any given time.
BC Transit made this announcement last month after the organization signed a contract with a company called Consat for the next phase of the NextRide program. The Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology will be installed in communities and regional transit systems across the province on approximately 315 buses operating on all conventional, fixed routes in British Columbia.
NextRide is funded through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. This project is being cost-shared with the Government of Canada contributing 50 per cent, the Province of British Columbia contributing 40 per cent and local government partners contributing the remaining 10 per cent.
Costs for the NextRide rollout into more markets, including the West Kootenay line, nears $6 million.
“Expanding the NextRide program will improve 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,” BC Transit’s Tim Croyle said in a January news brief. “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.”
NextRide falls under BC Transit’s Smart Bus program, which introduces new technologies on buses that improve customer experience, while also helping grow ridership by making transit more accessible, safer and enjoyable, BC Transit states.
“This initiative aims to leverage recent technology advances to provide improved information for our customers and bus operators, while also providing greater flexibility, scalability, and value to BC Transit and its local government partners.”