By the end of the month, Greater Victoria residents will be able to track their buses live on their phone.
The long-awaited NextRide program is set to be released by July 25, six months after the originally anticipated release date.
The delay was due to a complicated installation process and Victoria’s unique fleet.
“It’s just a matter of Greater Victoria having so many different buses in its fleet,” said Shellene McConnell, senior communications and engagement advisor. “We can’t install the equipment without taking them off the road, so it was a lot of coordination.”
Each bus needs a day for installation, and double-decker buses – of which there are 69 – take two days.
Once the app is launched, residents can use their phone to track their buses live, as well as see the estimated times for the next three buses.
Once on board, passengers will also see and hear displays identifying the next stop.
“We’re so excited to see this finally roll out to the Victoria system, it will improve commuting for everyone,” McConnell said.
The live GPS tracking system is part of a $27 million smart bus upgrade program from the federal government, which fits into the $136 million joint funding put forward by federal, provincial and local governments to upgrade 790 buses across the province.
A total of $6 million is going towards NextRide.
The system has already launched in Nanaimo, the Comox Valley, Kamloops, Kelowna, Squamish and Whistler.
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