Bill Friend, an RDN Transit driver, shuttles people around during a demonstration of NextRide technology on Wednesday. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Bill Friend, an RDN Transit driver, shuttles people around during a demonstration of NextRide technology on Wednesday. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

VIDEO: B.C. Transit shows off NextRide bus technology

New technology allows for real-time tracking, to be rolled out through early 2019

Regional District of Nanaimo Transit showed off new technology Wednesday that will allow riders to track buses in real time, among other benefits.

RDN and B.C. transit announced in April that it was implementing NextRide automatic vehicle location technology which provides bus tracking on cellphones; it would also add automated voice notifications and electronic signs on buses informing transit users of the next stop.

Officials from the RDN and B.C. Transit, as well as B.C. Transportation Minister Claire Trevena, were on hand for a demonstration bus ride on Wednesday.

Trevena joked that while the notifications weren’t done with actor Morgan Freeman’s voice, they would be appreciated.

“I’m pleased that there are people here who will benefit from this NextRide technology,” said Trevena. “People of all ages, all abilities use B.C. Transit to get around and with today’s launch of NextRide technology, we are making transit really modern, a more contemporary and convenient and accessible option for those who are of two minds about whether they should use transit, this makes it much easier.”

The enhancements are welcomed by Albert Ruel, who is blind and has been advocating for the technology for a long time.

“It just allows me to know with confidence when my bus stop is coming up,” said Ruel. “It also, with the outdoor announcement, it means that when the bus pulls up and the driver opens the door, I will know that that is the bus I’m looking for because it will announce the number of the bus and the direction … as a blind person I can hear the engine in the back. To find the door is a heck of a problem, so that announcement above the door helps me to find the door.”

The Regional District of Nanaimo area is the first area where NextRide has been implemented and it will be rolled out in the Comox Valley in June, Squamish and Whistler sometime in the summer, Kamloops and Kelowna in the fall and Victoria in late 2018 or early 2019.

Strategic Mapping Inc. has been contracted to install and monitor the technology, according to a press release, with money coming from Public Transit Infrastructure Fund announced by both the federal and provincial governments in June 2016 and the total cost of the project is $6.74 million, according to Jonathon Dyck, B.C. Transit spokesman.

It will be cost shared with the federal government assuming 50 per cent, provincial government 33 per cent and local government assuming the remaining 17 per cent.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

(Black Press Media file photo)
Bylaw officers called to Saanich park for COVID-19 protocol violations on pickleball court

Raquet sport players reminded to avoid doubles play amid pandemic

The Sooke School District raised more than $18,000 for the Goldstream and Sooke food banks from the funds of 10,000 Tonight in December 2020. The funds go two- to 2.5-times further due to the buying power of the food banks. (Black Press Media file photo)
SD62 high school students raise more than $18,000 for food banks

Edward Milne in Sooke rakes in $11,000 alone

Victoria police say a missing teen has been located safe. (Black Press Media file photo)
Missing teen located safe: Victoria police

Missing person alert ended for high-risk missing 14-year-old

A collage of damaged areas in need of repair in Oak Bay municipal hall, including carpet hazards, missing wall pieces and interior water damage. (District of Oak Bay images)
Oak Bay awards contract for municipal hall renovation

$470,000 will go towards cracked walls, ripped flooring

A video captured by Twitter user Teddy Jenner of a fire in Beacon Hill Park the night of Jan. 21, 2021. (Twitter/@OfftheCrosseBar)
Fire rips through tents, wooden structures in Beacon Hill Park

Emergency crews say there was no injuries in the blaze

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Most Read