In the News: NextRide technology rolls out on buses in Kamloops

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KAMLOOPS – Using the city’s public transit system as your main mode of transportation has benefits. Just to name a few, it helps reduce road congestion and it’s better for the environment.

But for those who use the Kamloops Public Transit system daily, you might be all too familiar with delayed bus arrivals and packed buses.

One way B.C. Transit is trying to provide a more reliable service is by launching a user-friendly application called NextRide real-time technology.

The system became available today, Aug. 21.

“The days of running for the bus are long gone,” MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission Bob D’Eith says, who was in Kamloops today on behalf of Minister of Transportation Claire Trevena.

Officials from B.C. Transit and the City of Kamloops also gathered at the Lansdowne Transit Exchange for the launch.

“It’s going to be a really awesome addition to the transit system,” Kamloops Coun. Donovan Cavers says. “For a community our size we have decent transit service, but things like (NextRide) are going to enhance the quality service that much more and increases the reliability.”

So, how does this technology work?

NextRide uses Automatic Vehicle Location technology which provides bus users with real-time data on the location of their bus and an estimated arrival time. It also allows bus users to see how full a bus is. LED screens have also been put in place inside buses to alert riders of upcoming stops visually and audibly.

Riders can check on the status of a bus on route either with a smartphone or desktop.

“We are thrilled to be in partnership with B.C. Transit to bring enhanced service to our community,” Mayor Ken Christian says. “NextRide is an exciting addition to our transit service and an important step to remain current and respond to rider needs.”

The technology first rolled out in Nanaimo this past spring and is also running in Comox Valley, Squamish, Whistler and now Kamloops.

The technology is expected to launch in Kelowna this fall and Victoria this winter.

Strategic Mapping Inc. was contracted by B.C. Transit to install and monitor the technology for the busses. The installation for the NextRide technology consists of routers, antennas, a vehicle logistics unit, a mobile data terminal on buses, related software, licensing costs and external passenger information displays.

The system has cost $6.74 million and the funding for the technology came from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund which was announced in June 2016 by the federal and provincial governments.

For more information on NextRide, visit B.C. Transit’s website here.

Published August 21, 2018 Karen Edwards

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