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ThatBusGuy

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Everything posted by ThatBusGuy

  1. Hello! We use Compass here: https://www.compasscard.ca/ Available to buy at Skytrain stations and other select locations like London Drugs. Should be a full list somewhere on that website. Hope that helps!
  2. Creston isn't even the only one under the BCT umbrella! Fort St. John and Dawson Creek also fall into the same boat of being permanently on MST. But because they're more isolated, it isn't as noticeable from a GTFS perspective since all of their routes are contained within a single timezone. It gets a bit more complicated when you start having trips across multiple timezones at once. With Creston and the rest of East Kootenay, you have some trips in one timezone, some trips in another, and even some that cross the timezone boundary (looking at you, route 56 Creston/Cranbrook). The good news is, GTFS fully supports trips across multiple timezones (one example I remember seeing a while ago was the GTFS for Via Rail, which has trips going all the way across Canada), so there isn't really anything preventing BCT from merging Creston with East Kooteny. In fact there's plenty of arguments to be made for why they should do it. For one, with the current strategy they'll have to update the Creston GTFS every time DST starts or ends in order to set the correct timezone, because for some reason they're currently using America/Vancouver instead of America/Creston which would simply update automatically. For another, they don't currently include route 56 in the GTFS at all because it crosses the timezone boundary, which they don't seem interested in supporting (lazy developers, I tell ya). And of course it would help to unify everything a bit more overall, which isn't really related to the timezone stuff but it's still a reasonable point. So I honestly can't really say why they decided to keep them separate, aside from the fact that timezones are definitely a pretty big factor (because, of course, developers hate having to deal with them!) For anyone who is not interested in timezones or GTFS, I apologize that you had to be subjected to the above word wall!
  3. Came here to say that new systems are available, but looks like I've already been beat to it! I can provide some technical answers to the above questions though... I don't know why some systems were chosen over others to receive realtime initially, but there are two reasons why I wouldn't be surprised if more are added in the future. First a bit of background - unlike NextRide 1.0, in which systems were IDed by a name (victoria, comox, etc), NextRide 2.0 systems are IDed by a number. This is why we're able to show all these new systems before they've technically been fully released; we can simply plug in different numbers to see if anything shows up. The first reason I think more systems are coming is because some numbers were skipped, so it's absolutely possible more will be added in the future to fill in those gaps. The second reason is because a bonus system actually already exists that wasn't originally announced: Mount Waddington. If you look at realtime info for All Systems on BCTracker, you may occasionally see some of their shuttles online. Unlike other new systems there is no trip/block data available, only bus positions, which is why it only exists as a ghostly hidden system on the website. But given that it exists when it wasn't supposed to, I have high hopes that other systems will be added as well. Terrace and Kitimat are a bit weird, because there's actually separate system IDs for both of them - but they both have the exact same trip/block data, and buses only show up for the Kitimat ID. It certainly makes sense to have them combined, so I'm not entirely sure what that's all about. I'll definitely keep an eye on it to see if anything ends up changing about that. One other thing I'll mention - you may notice that Creston Valley is separate from the other East Kootenay systems, even though the routes there were renumbered so they could all be combined. The reason for that is every software developer's worst nightmare: timezones. Since Creston does not observe daylight savings, half the year its schedules are an hour behind the rest of East Kootenay, making it difficult to integrate them nicely. So it seems BC Transit decided to say screw it and keep it as a separate system.
  4. They're probably seeing the Novas on the 394 which is run by RTC now. No transfers afaik
  5. https://www.bctransit.com/whistler/news?nid=1529718160300 Service resuming on June 22nd, free until at least July 3rd
  6. I remember having that theory a while ago about the physical sign changes, but was met with skepticism from some folks... glad to see it's confirmed! The main reason is because unlike other routes that have received the new "<street name> to <terminus>" headsigns, the original names for the 3, 8, and 10 used the street name as the southbound destination, so for example SB stops on Granville say "10 Granville". With these headsign changes, ideally those stops should say "10 Marine Drive Station" instead, naming the terminus rather than the street. To avoid having to change the physical signs (which of course costs money that is hard to come by), Translink kept it so that the Main/Fraser/Granville names continue to imply southbound, and the Downtown name continues to imply northbound. It's also the reason why routes like 406 and 408 have been updated but 401, 402, 403, 404, and 405 haven't. The 406 bus stop signs already said "406 Steveston" and "406 Brighouse Station", so sticking on "Railway to ..." to the front of the headsigns didn't require any signage changes. But the 401 which also goes between Steveston and Brighouse would require changing the signs to say "401 Steveston" instead of "401 One Road" to avoid confusion.
  7. Welcome! Going in reverse order here... Fares: you can find all the info you need here: https://www.translink.ca/transit-fares/pricing-and-fare-zones. To summarize the basics, there's a single zone fare for buses, while skytrain and seabus are grouped into 3 zones. On weekends and after 6:30pm, everything is treated as a single zone. I'd definitely recommend getting a Compass card if you're going to be riding buses/trains a lot, it makes the fares cheaper and it makes stuff like transfers and day passes much easier. Fanning spots: I don't do much photography or spotting personally, so I'll let someone else cover this one Route/bus recommendations: you'll probably want to start in the core downtown area, there's a decent amount of variety there. It's a great place to see Vancouver's trolleys, and there's a decent chance of spotting one of the few remaining D40LFs. From Waterfront Station you can also take the Seabus to North Vancouver, which is a nice scenic trip. North Van is mostly dominated by Novas, but if you take the R2 RapidBus to Park Royal you'll find more variety there from West Vancouver's buses. A quick trip across the Lion's Gate Bridge will get you back downtown from there. Taking the Expo Line south-east from downtown, you'll find some good variety at places like Metrotown Station, which has stuff like XN40s and community shuttles which are less common downtown. At Commercial-Broadway Station you'll find the Millennium Line as well as the 99 B-Line, the busiest bus route in North America. That route is pretty slow at the moment because of the construction of the Broadway skytrain line. It also connects to the Canada Line, which runs between downtown and Richmond, as well as the airport. Along that line you might be able to find some of our battery buses at Marine Drive Station on route 100, the only route they currently do. They're pretty uncommon at the moment so I'd recommend checking ahead of time if any are out. Also along the Canada Line is Bridgeport Station, where you can find a bunch of suburban buses including double deckers and Orion Vs. Hope that's a somewhat helpful starting point! If you haven't seen them before there's some good websites that make tracking buses and viewing routes easier, including http://tcomm.bustrainferry.com/mobile/, https://sorrybusfull.com/, and Translink's own https://www.translink.ca/next-bus. Enjoy your trip!
  8. Hmm, interesting. Do you know if that's the case for routes 71 and 72 in Chilliwack? They seem to be the ones that don't have logins most frequently, but it appears to be random - some days a trip will have a bus logged in and other days it won't, rather than a specific set of trips getting cut. Plus, there's still a few Vicinities that haven't logged in at all or have only done so a couple times. Both those factors lead me to assume it was the buses themselves not showing up properly because of some technical issues. Of course it could just be coincidence if those particular buses are simply not in service for unrelated maintenance issues, and if the trips are getting cancelled because of last-minute reasons rather than on a regular basis. All I have to go on is the data that's provided through the API, so I could very well be wrong!
  9. Took a bit longer than planned to get things running smoothly, but as of today BCTracker now provides realtime bus tracking information for a bunch more transit systems around BC! This includes Cowichan Valley, Port Alberni, Campbell River, Powell River, and Sunshine Coast as brand-new systems, along with Fraser Valley which is replacing the old Central Fraser Valley and Chilliwack systems. Also new are North Okanagan and South Okanagan, which are the next two systems to be receiving NextRide. They are still being tested so we aren't releasing realtime data for them yet, but the schedule data is available now. Those systems and more will be added over the next few months as the NextRide rollout continues. A quick note about Fraser Valley - there are still some ongoing login issues, which means some trips/blocks may appear to not have a bus on them even if there actually is one. Unfortunately there's not much we can do about it, so just keep in mind that a missing bus does not necessarily mean the trip is cancelled. You may also occasionally see some completely wrong logins from time to time, but that's become much less of an issue than it was a couple months ago. You can check out all the new systems here: https://bctracker.ca/
  10. Not necessarily, VTC is probably needing to get rid of them to have room for the 2021 artics. HTC has also been sending XN40s to STC as noted above, so the redistribution is spread a bit more evenly
  11. Ah I should have specified there aren't any Chilliwack vicinities I've seen in service online yet (including Agassiz/Harrison/Hope vehicles). From CFV, all of the 2020 CNG Vicinities except for 4230, 4231, and 4232 have signed in for at least on trip. However, no shuttles from CFV yet. Makes sense that Chilliwack was delayed until the renumbering, especially if announcements and other public info is turned on at the same time as the online tracking, since that could directly impact passengers. So far for Chilliwack Novas I've seen 9203, 9204, 9206, 9208, 9222, 9447, 9449, 9451, and 9478 signed into trips. 9202 and 9207 have also appeared online but not signed into any trips yet.
  12. Technically real time data has been available for a while in both Chilliwack and CFV, but BCT hasn't made that known publicly on their website because it's still very clearly being set up and tested. Still not every bus is online yet, let alone actually signed into a trip - CFV has had more progress on that front, with the first bus signed into a trip in Chilliwack only occurring this past Sunday on route 66, and on local Chilliwack routes on Monday. Even then there's a lot of incorrect trip IDs and logins for completely wrong trips, and so far only one Vicinity (3006) has appeared online at all. I'd be quite curious to know how that compares to onboard passenger info and announcements - if they're progressing at roughly the same pace or if the real time tracking is lagging behind for some reason or another
  13. It appears that 9206 and 9208 have been transferred to Chilliwack from CFV to help with the 66 expansion. Not sure yet about 9205 or 9207
  14. It's been interesting watching the realtime GTFS data over the last few weeks. 1200 and 1201 from CFV and 9449 from Chilliwack have been around since February but haven't been signed into any trips. After the static GTFS data was updated recently to include the renumbered Chilliwack routes, more 2020 and 2021 XN40s began appearing with some signed into trips - not all have been seen yet but good progress has been made so far. Just in the last few days, 9206-8 have shown up in CFV but haven't signed into any trips yet, and 4229 was the first Vicinity to appear just earlier today. Over in Chilliwack a few more Novas including 9203, 9204, 9222, and 9451 have appeared, but still none of those buses have been signed into any trips yet. It's definitely exciting to see more stuff appear every day!
  15. From an administrative perspective it certainly makes sense to reduce the overlap in numbers across different systems, even if it doesn't really affect day to day users of those routes. It does make me wonder if someday they will consider grouping regions by the hundreds - eg Victoria numbered in the 000s, other Vancouver Island communities in the 100s, lower mainland and other south coast communities in the 200s, etc. From a rider's perspective that doesn't really make sense and would probably be even more confusing for a while, but it would also probably make things easier for BC Transit to not have to specify when they're dealing with route 1 in Victoria vs route 1 in Vernon. I don't participate much on the BC Transit side of things so I'm sure this has come up before, but it does seem like a relevant observation given the other renumbering that's taking place
  16. I don't know if this has been noted anywhere else, but it seems that the Vernon and Shuswap Regional Transit Systems are getting semi-combined in the same way that Central Fraser Valley and Chilliwack are. The GTFS that gets provided with the NextRide 2.0 rollout now includes these systems combined together as "North Okanagan Region", with Shuswap routes renumbered (1-5 becoming 21-25 and 11-13 becoming 41-43) to prevent clashes. Haven't heard anything else about this, including when the renumbering is supposed to occur, but I also don't live anywhere near there so I'm not exactly up on news from the region so everyone else may have already known about this for a while haha
  17. Should be available on BCTracker pretty soon! We've been working on adding the new realtime systems since January, but due to some complicated GTFS changes and signs that they're still actively testing things, we haven't released those changes to the public yet. If all goes well we're considering releasing sometime after the CFV/Chilliwack changes occur next week. For now here's a sneak peek at the map view as it currently appears (Technically it isn't all of BC... since we don't support Vancouver right now. But it's every bus that has NextRide activated!)
  18. Spotted 21401 and 21402 driving along Highway 17 towards the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Likely going to the island for inspection, but not totally sure.
  19. 21545 also shows as being in service today. Could have been showing as something else previously
  20. Likewise there's at least one 19500 in Surrey today, possibly the first low floor operating in Surrey?
  21. Happened to pass by the other direction right as that was happening
  22. Pretty easy to check for yourself, if you go to the website and search for 21002. The answer is no, the model isn't set yet. Knowing Dennis it would be a miracle if that was already set so soon after the fleet numbers being confirmed, let alone before any vehicles have been in service for at least a couple weeks
  23. Is there a rule anywhere saying observations should only be posted the first time they happen and then never again? If it's not something that interests you, just move on and let others talk about it if they want. Do we know if the diesel/hybrids are because of construction or something else? Based on the fact that they seem to be all 18300s it makes me wonder if they're purposefully putting air conditioned buses on for the weekend Stanley Park crowds
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