COMOX VALLEY, B.C. – New technology is coming to transit buses in the Comox Valley that will make your travels a lot easier.

NextRide technology will be installed on all buses across the Valley’s transit system for this June.

“What it does is it uses automatic vehicle location devices to provide customers with real-time data on the location of their bus and its predicted arrival time at a stop,” said Jonathon Dyck, BC Transit’s Communications Manager.

He noted that you can access the data through your web browser on your smartphone, or computer.

“It will give customers more certainty about when their bus is expected to arrive,” he said.

“What they will be able to do is see on the map where their bus is at present time and what the estimated time of arrival is.”

He said this will allow users to decide if they need to rush out of their home to catch their bus or if they have some extra time in case their bus is running late.

“It will give customers more information right in the palm of their hand to be able to make decisions about what they’re doing.”

Dyck explained that buses will be equipped with GPS devices.

“That way, the system can track where the bus is and provide that information to the customer. A couple of other things that will be installed are automatic voice announcers, so what that will do is announce verbally what the next stop is coming up,” he said.

“There will be additional features to make it more accessible in terms of having wayside passenger information displays that will visually display anticipated arrival times and other things on the bus showing when the next stop is coming up.”

The Regional District of Nanaimo will be the first to implement the new technology next month.

Dyck said tests will be done to make sure everything works. Once all is cleared, and the system in Nanaimo goes live, Comox Valley transit buses will have the new technology installed.

He said customers should expect to see this new service on buses in the Valley in June.

Other transit systems that will see these upgrades across B.C. include Squamish, Whistler, Kamloops, Kelowna and Victoria. For more details, visit bctransit.com.