New bus technology to help passengers plan their trips better

Regional District of Nanaimo first community to be chosen to use NextRide

Transit buses in the regional district will be equipped with a new technology this month that will help passengers plan their trips better.

The Regional District of Nanaimo bus transit system will be the first to implement Next Ride, which uses Automatic Vehicle Location to provide customers with real-time data on the location of their bus and its predicted arrival time at a stop. It’s a web-based, user-friendly technology, enabling passengers to plan their trips from an internet connected mobile device or desktop.

On board the buses, passengers will now be able to see and hear upcoming stop information as they approach the next stop. These additional features are designed to make BC Transit accessible to all users. Select major bus terminals will have wayside passenger information displays that will also visually display anticipated arrival times.

“These service upgrades will be hugely helpful for people who already ride the bus, and a great incentive for more people to start,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“We are committed to making BC Transit service more convenient and accessible, and I expect transit users will be thrilled with these improvements.”

Following the regional district, NextRide will roll out in six other communities across the province. It will be launched in the Comox Valley in June, Squamish and Whistler will have the technology this summer, Kamloops and Kelowna will have it in the fall and Victoria will implement it this coming winter.

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’re pleased to work with our partners to bring these enhancements to BC Transit,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit President and Chief Executive Officer. “The new technology on board our buses will help to improve the efficiency of our services and our customers’ overall transit experience.”

— NEWS Staff/RDN report

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