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Coast could get bus shelters and AVL technology

Coast could get bus shelters and AVL technology

Local MP Patrick Weiler stood in for Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Catherine McKenna, March 1, making a joint funding announcement with BC’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming. They detailed that the federal and provincial governments would each be contributing more than $1.9 million to install approximately 150 new and refitted public bus shelters throughout the province.
Erinn Pinkerton, president and CEO of BC Transit, also participated in the virtual announcement. BC local governments, who participate in the funding of BC Transit, are also contributing $986,000 to this project.
No decisions have been made on how many of the 150 shelters will be coming to the Coast.
The program will see shelters with weather-specific upgrades as well as better lighting and seating made available. Increased accessibility standards will also be incorporated. This will allow more individuals better access to the province’s public transit system.
“New and refitted bus shelters will improve the day-to-day commuting experience for public transit users. It’s great to see federal funding go towards public transit in my home province and towards supporting cleaner and better-connected communities,” said Weiler.
Jamie Weiss, Senior Media Relations and Public Affairs Advisor with BC Transit, stated that the shelters provided with the new funding would be installed over the next five years. He noted that BC Transit works with its partners to make decisions on where to install shelters based on requests submitted annually by local governments.
Weiss said that the average cost of a bus shelter within the BC Transit system is $23,000. Individual prices are dependent on size, materials used, seating and lighting options, as well as adding extras such as bike racks. He noted that in cases where a full shelter is not warranted or wanted, funding from the program could be used for other amenities, like benches at bus stops.
When asked about the integration of technology in conjunction with new transit shelters, Weiss said, “BC Transit is continually looking at innovative ways to ensure we are providing the most reliable and accessible transportation solution for people. We are in the process of developing an electronic fare collection system and are investigating the potential for future digital on-demand service.”
BC Transit is currently tendering for the expansion of its Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology. Using global positioning system data, AVL makes it possible for transit users to track where a bus is on its route and when it will reach a specific stop via their cellphone or other mobile device. Weiss noted that while nothing is confirmed at this time, the Sunshine Coast Transit System may be targeted for Phase 1 AVL implementation. Connie Jordison

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