An app that will allow Regional District of Nanaimo Transit users to track buses is expected to be rolled out by the end of 2018. (News Bulletin file)

An app that will allow Regional District of Nanaimo Transit users to track buses is expected to be rolled out by the end of 2018. (News Bulletin file)

RDN Transit app will track buses in real time

Strategic Mapping Inc. technology will allow users to see where bus is on its route

An app that will allow Regional District of Nanaimo Transit customers to track buses is expected to be rolled out by the end of 2018.

According to B.C. Transit, RDN Transit’s funding partner, Strategic Mapping Inc. has been selected to install and maintain the real-time technology and it will allow riders to see how far a bus is along its route and an estimated arrival time at a stop. Jonathon Dyck, B.C. Transit spokesman, told the News Bulletin it will be available for desktop computer and mobile devices.

“It’s going to be a real benefit for customers in planning their trips and being able to see when buses are running early, late or on time,” said Dyck. “This will be a big change for customers.”

Buses will also be equipped with technology that will announce upcoming stops and automatic passenger counters, Dyck said.

“The automatic passenger counters would be for us and our operating partners to look at where people are getting on and off the buses so we can manage our routes and say ‘OK, this stop is really busy at this time and it’s happening on a consistent basis. How can we help out with that type of a passenger load … it will help with trip planning and route planning as well as we go forward,” said Dyck.

The real-time technology will also be installed in Kamloops, Comox Valley, Squamish, Whistler, Kelowna and Victoria and Dyck said the total cost will be $6.74 million, which will be cost-shared between the federal and provincial and local governments.

Strategic Mapping Inc. will now design the system as well as an implementation plan.

Closed-circuit TV installation, for safety purposes, is a part of the announcement, but has already been installed in the RDN’s fleet, according to Dyck.