Transit riders across Greater Victoria will soon begin to notice some changes, as BC Transit is unveiling location information on board their fleet.
Updates that will allow buses to provide audio and visual notification to riders about upcoming stops are rolling out. Busses will have the name of the next stop scroll across a screen at the front of the bus while an audio recording announces the stop. TransLink buses in Vancouver have had a similar feature since 2008.
These updates come alongside broader technological improvements across BC Transit (BCT), as they attempt to improve efficiency and the overall experience for riders.
Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology is scheduled to arrive in Victoria sometime this year. BCT calls the technology NextRide, and it will provide users with real time information on the location of their bus and its predicted arrival time.
AVL has already been implemented in Nanaimo, Comox, Whistler, Squamish, Kamloops and Kelowna. Last week BCT completed initial testing on some Victoria routes.
When the service arrives, it will be accessible through web browsers and smart phones, and be able to send push alerts to customers in case of heavy delays or accidents. Funding for the upgrades primarily comes from the federal government, though all three levels are contributing.