COMOX VALLEY – Real-time bus location technology is rolling out in Comox Valley.
By using their smart phone or desk top, transit riders in the CVRD are now able to plan their trips more efficiently and see where their bus is along its route.
On Wednesday morning, the CVRD Board and local dignitaries joined BC Transit staff and the public to launch the NextRide app, BC Transit’s real-time bus location technology.
“The arrival of NextRide technology onboard buses in the Comox Valley is great news,” said Amarjeet Sohi, federal minister of Infrastructure and Communities.
“These innovative upgrades will help make transit services in the region more convenient and accessible for all users.”
Visitors at Wednesday’s launch were shown NextRide’s Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which provides transit users with real-time data on the location of their bus and its predicted arrival time at a stop.
NextRide operates off of a responsive website, enabling passengers to plan their trips from an internet connected mobile device or desktop.
“People of all ages and abilities rely on transit to get around, and NextRide technology makes it a more accessible option for everyone,” noted federal Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena.
“I encourage people in the Comox Valley to get on board a bus to see how much easier taking public transit is thanks to this modern technology.”
NextRide also includes on-board enhancements, allowing customers to see and hear upcoming stop information upon approach, making BC Transit accessible to all users, according to a BC Transit press release.
According to BC Transit, NextRide data “will allow BC Transit and its partners to better direct buses for schedule reliability and to more easily push alerts out to customers in the case of detours, accidents or other events that may delay regular routing.”
“We are excited to be one of the first communities in B.C. to provide our transit riders with this real-time technology, enhancing their user experience and allowing for more effective use of their time,” said CVRD board chair Bruce Jolliffe. “This is one of the many ways we are working to make transit an even more convenient way to travel around the Valley.”
NextRide technology was first launched in Nanaimo in May. Five additional communities across the province will follow the Comox Valley in implementing NextRide technology:
They include Whistler and Squamish in July, Kamloops in August, Kelowna in the fall, and Victoria in the winter.
“Our customers are relying on technology in their daily lives and now we’re bringing that technology right on to our buses,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit’s interim president and CEO. “I am grateful to our government partners, whose strong support makes significant endeavours like NextRide possible for regions like the Comox Valley.”
Strategic Mapping, Inc. has been contracted to install and monitor the technology. Funding for this project is coming from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), which was announced in June 2016 by the federal and provincial governments.