NextRide real-time bus location technology rolls out in the Kelowna Regional Transit System

Nov 29, 2018
Transit System: Kelowna

KELOWNA –  Transit riders within the Kelowna Regional Transit System are now able to plan their trips more efficiently and see where their bus is along its route, all from their smart phone or desktop. This afternoon, members of the public and local dignitaries gathered at the Queensway Transit Exchange along with BC Transit staff to celebrate the launch of NextRide, BC Transit’s real-time bus location technology.    

“It’s great to see NextRide technology rolling out on Kelowna buses,” said Stephen Fuhr, Member of Parliament for Kelowna-Lake Country, on behalf of the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “By allowing users to keep pace with bus scheduling on the go, this new feature will make transit services in the region more responsive, convenient and accessible. Our government is proud to support innovative improvements to public transit systems that transform the way people live, move and work while supporting economic growth and a strong middle-class.”

Guests were shown NextRide’s Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, which provides customers with real-time data on the location of their bus and its predicted arrival time at a stop. NextRide operates off of a responsive website, enabling passengers to plan their trips from an internet connected mobile device or desktop.

“This real-time tracking technology will really benefit people in Kelowna who already ride the bus, and will hopefully encourage more people to start taking transit,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “We are committed to making BC Transit service more convenient and accessible, and I expect passengers in Kelowna will be pleased with this service upgrade.”

NextRide also includes on-board enhancements, allowing customers to see and hear upcoming stop information upon approach, making BC Transit accessible to all users. NextRide data will allow BC Transit and its partners to better direct buses for schedule reliability and to more easily push alerts out to customers in the case of detours, accidents or other events that may delay regular routing.

“NextRide will provide residents across the region with the information they need to better plan their bus trips,” says Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. “This technology will provide the data needed to help us target investments and further enhance transit service in communities across the Central Okanagan.”

NextRide technology was first launched in the Regional District of Nanaimo in May, followed by the Comox Valley Regional District in June, then Whistler and Squamish in July and Kamloops in August. In total, NextRide will be implemented in seven communities this year, with Victoria following this spring.

“Our customers are relying on technology in their daily lives and now we’re bringing that technology right on to our buses,” said Erinn Pinkerton, BC Transit’s President and CEO. “I am grateful to our government partners whose strong support makes significant endeavours like NextRide possible for transit systems like Kelowna.” 

Strategic Mapping, Inc. has been contracted to install and monitor the technology. Funding for this project is coming from the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), which was announced in June 2016 by the federal and provincial governments.

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Media contact:

Shellene McConnell
BC Transit
Senior Communications and Engagement Advisor