Passengers looking to hitch a ride with BC Transit will be able to track when the next bus will arrive in real-time.

BC Transit officials said the new technology, called NextRide, will be installed onto approximately 315 buses operating on transit routes throughout the province.

Locally, the service will come online in the summer, while other parts of B.C. may see the update sooner.

NextRide will allow customers to see bus locations in real-time along a route, with predicted arrival times at any selected stop. BC Transit will introduce several other changes as well.

“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,” said BC Transit officials. “Through BC Transit, it will provide bus location data to mobility providers like Google Maps and our partner Transit App, so our customers across the province can track and monitor bus routes using their application of choice.”

The total cost of adding in the NextRide system is estimated at $6-million, which is being shared between the federal, provincial and municipal governments. They will split the cost with contributions of 50 per cent, 40 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively.

“It’s great to see the successful NextRide program being rolled out across the province. 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,” said Rob Flemming, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The initiative aims at leveraging new technology to provide better information for customers and bus drivers along with greater flexibility, scalability, and value.

“NextRide falls under BC Transit’s Smart Bus program, which introduces new technologies on buses that improve the customer experience, while also helping grow ridership by making transit more accessible, safer and enjoyable,” said BC Transit officials.

The approximate installation dates for various transit systems follows:

  • January 2022 – Cowichan Valley
  • February 2022
    • Port Alberni
    • Campbell River
  • Spring 2022
    • Fraser Valley Transit Systems
    • Vernon Regional
    • Shuswap Regional
    • South Okanagan-Similkameen
    • Dawson Creek
    • Fort St. John
    • Powell River Regional Transit System
  •  Summer 2022
    • Sunshine Coast
    • Prince George
    • Kitimat, Skeena Regional and Terrace Regional
    • Prince Rupert/Port Edward
    • Cranbrook
    • Kimberley
    • Elk Valley
    • Columbia Valley
    • Creston Valley
    • West Kootenay