THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - BC Transit is beginning a request for proposal (RFP) process to introduce Real Time, automatic vehicle location (AVL) enabled technology on buses in seven transit communities, including Kamloops, Nanaimo, Comox Valley, Squamish, Whistler, Kelowna and Victoria. BC Transit aims to introduce the customer-facing features of the Real Time technology in 2018.
“The introduction of AVL-equipped buses is an exciting step that will in many ways redefine how customers interact with public transportation,” said Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I am excited about the benefits the service will provide to hundreds of thousands of commuters in communities across our province.”
In addition to the AVL technology itself, the RFP put forward by BC Transit includes a web-based passenger application, which will enable commuters to use web browsers and smart mobile devices to see the location of their bus along its route and its predicted arrival time at an identified stop.
From an operational perspective, the Real Time information will allow BC Transit and its partners to better direct buses for schedule reliability, manage on-road incidents more effectively and more easily push alerts out to customers in the case of detours, accidents, or other events that may delay regular routing.
BC Transit staff have been carefully researching and evaluating technology enhanced systems in peer transit communities across Canada and the United States. The Real Time project also builds off the pilot project in Kelowna along Highway 97 that began in 2014.
“Real Time technology is an important addition to our fleet,” said Manuel Achadinha, BC Transit Chief Executive Officer and President. “The ability to provide customers with more information will allow us to better connect people and communities across the province.”
The RFP, which begins the bidding process by outlining the parameters of the project, will be formally issued on Tuesday, January 24, 2017, with the contract expected to be awarded by late spring 2017. The RFP follows the successful signing of memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with participating local governments. The addition of Real Time information takes place alongside two additional enhancements that will pave the way for a better customer experience:
· Closed circuit TV (CCTV) to increase the safety of passengers and drivers.
· Automatic passenger counters, which enable BC Transit to optimize service delivery based on precise and timely ridership data.
The installation of these technologies is part of the almost $160 million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects that was first announced in June, together with Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
In partnership with local governments, BC Transit provides access to public transit to more than
1.6 million British Columbians in 130 communities outside Metro Vancouver. As a result of our commitment to transit in B.C., communities with as few as 1,000 people have access to transit making BC Transit a unique service for smaller communities anywhere in Canada.
The Province also provides the highest level of operating funding support, per capita, for transit in Canada.
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