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

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Jul 24, 2018

Whistler –  Transit riders in the Resort Municipality of Whistler 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 morning, members of the public gathered at Gondola Transit Exchange to watch as Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden and Resort Municipality of Whistler councillors joined MLA Bowinn Ma, BC Transit staff and local dignitaries to celebrate the launch of NextRide, BC Transit’s real-time bus location technology.

“The arrival of NextRide technology onboard buses in Whistler is great news,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “This innovative technology will help make transit services in the region more convenient and accessible for all users. Our government is proud to support public transit projects that contribute to the development of more sustainable inclusive communities where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”

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.

“NextRide technology is one of the ways we are working to modernize transit in B.C. and make it easier for people to travel around their communities,” said Bowinn Ma, MLA for North Vancouver-Lonsdale, on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena. “This is a huge improvement for those who already take the bus, and I hope it encourages more people to get on board with using our transit system in Whistler.”

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.

“The Resort Municipality of Whistler is thrilled to be one of the seven selected communities across BC where NextRide technology is being implemented. There has been a long-time desire for this type of technology in Whistler,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “NextRide is one more great reason to take the bus in Whistler. It is part of the many initiatives being rolled out through the Transportation Action Plan to make it easier for everyone – residents, employees and visitors – to get around Whistler. Let’s get moving, Whistler!”

NextRide technology was first launched in the Regional District of Nanaimo in May, followed by the Comox Valley Regional District in June. Four additional communities across the province will be joining Whistler in installing NextRide technology this year:

Squamish –  July 2018
Kamloops –  August 2018
Kelowna –    Fall 2018
Victoria –     Winter 2018/2019

“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 Interim President and CEO. “I am grateful to our government partners, whose strong support makes significant endeavours like NextRide possible in thriving communities like the Resort Municipality of Whistler.”

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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