Old school Regional District of Nanaimo Transit buses will be in the rotation as current compressed natural gas buses are modernized with such technology as GPS. (News Bulletin file photo)

RDN Transit rolling out retro buses while it modernizes its fleet

GPS and fare box improvements among new tech being added to buses

Regional District of Nanaimo Transit will roll out some older-model buses as it modernizes its compressed natural gas fleet.

RDN Transit has already introduced closed-circuit TV cameras to its 50 CNG buses and will slowly introduce technology that will allow GPS among other things. The installation is expected to take between four and six weeks, said Daniel Pearce, regional district director of transportation and emergency services.

“It’s called the Smart Bus Project. The entire bus [fleet] will be getting new technology added to it. It starts with the fare box, which is going to be communicating with the destination sign and then the GPS units are going to be configured with … automatic people counters on the doors … as well as automatic audio that sounds for each geographic location where the stop would be,” said Pearce.

When the project is completed, riders will be able to track where a bus is along its route via a website, estimated to be in place by early June, according to Pearce.

“The drivers will have terminals that they can then view their turn-by-turn directions on and will be automated and the public will able to actually see where each one of the buses are and the anticipated time of the arrival,” said Pearce.

Pearce said two buses per day will be outfitted with the new technology.

“Those two additional, older-style diesel buses are just supplementing the fleet for the four to six weeks and as soon as that project is complete, they’ll be leaving our system,” Pearce said.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

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