Riders of West Kootenay Transit, including Nelson, Trail, Castlegar, Balfour, Kaslo and the Slocan Valley areas, will be excited about the announcement that the NextRide program is coming this summer.
In a recent announcement, BC Transit said it has completed a successful Negotiated Request for Proposals process and has signed a contract with Consat for the next phase of the NextRide program.
The new program will enhance customer experience and increase ridership throughout the province.
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.
“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 President, Operations and Chief Operating Officer, BC Transit.
“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 is technology that enables customers across seven transit systems on Vancouver Island, Squamish/Whistler and in the Interior 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 know exactly when their bus will arrive and allow them to see how full a bus is at any given time.
NextRide technology will be installed across transit systems throughout British Columbia starting this month in the Cowichan Transit System.
Two installation teams will work closely together in neighbouring or nearby communities as they move through the province to install the new technology on buses.
“It’s great to see the successful NextRide program being rolled out across the province,” said Rob Fleming, BC Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“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.”
NextRide will continue to use AVL technology to allow even more customers to see real-time bus locations along routes and identify what predicted arrival times are at any selected stop.
Onboard, automated stop announcements call out stops to customers riding the bus, which increases comfort and convenience, while also improves the overall accessibility for many using transit.
Through BC Transit, it will provide bus location data to mobility providers like Google Maps and our partner Transit App, so customers across the province can track and monitor bus routes using their application of choice.
The NextRide project 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. The project cost for NextRide being installed in these additional transit systems is nearly $6 million.
Cowichan Valley is having NextRide installed in January while Port Alberni and Campbell River is set to join the program in Feburary.
The Kootenay region, including West Kootenay Transit, Creston Valley, Columbia Valley, Elk Valley, Kimberley and Cranbrook, is expected to see the program installed during the summer.