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New technology hoping to make public transit smoother for Kamloops passengers

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December 13, 2016 - 8:00 PM

KAMLOOPS - B.C. Transit is looking at ways for Kamloops bus passengers to have a more accessible and safer bus trip.

The company has outfitted 25 buses in the city with both interior and exterior closed circuit TV cameras, which they say will enhance passenger and driver safety.

In a news release, B.C. Transit says the city's entire bus fleet is on track to being fully equipped with safety cameras with the arrival of new buses in the early New Year. It will make Kamloops one of the province's first BC Transit-served communities to be completely equipped with new technologies.

Real-time technology is also on its way now that the City of Kamloops has signed a memorandum of understanding to introduce a new GPS tracking system, the release says. Once it arrives, transit users will be able to access accurate, real-time information about where buses are located to more conveniently plan their commute.

B.C. Transit spokesperson Jonathon Dyck says it hasn't been decided how the real-time information will be formatted, whether it be through an app or through the website. 

"We want to make sure that passengers are able to track their buses in real time," Dyck says.

Either way, the format will be mobile device-friendly, he says.

The new technologies are part of the nearly $160-million in federal and provincial funding for BC Transit projects which was first announced in June by Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Next month, B.C. Transit will release a request for proposals to find a vendor to install and maintain the real-time technology. The release says staff have been researching and evaluating technology enhanced systems in other transit systems across North America.

The installation of the CCTV cameras comes after a one-year pilot project of buses being equipped in Victoria and Kamloops.

“BC Transit staff and customers have seen the benefits of CCTV cameras on buses, both in deterring inappropriate behaviour and in providing a tool to investigate when incidents do occur,” Erinn Pinkerton with B.C. says in the release. “I’m looking forward to having the Kamloops bus fleet fully equipped with cameras, and from there, introducing this technology in other communities across the province.”

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