Sunday, February 19, 2006

Vancouver Transit Looking at High-Tech Makeover

VANCOUVER -- Bus riders in the Lower Mainland are one step closer to being under a video camera's watchful eye with a $35-million deal that puts computers and satellite trackers on buses.

Yesterday, regional transportation authority Translink announced a contract with German company INIT Innovations in Transit Inc. to perform a sweeping upgrade of the bus fleet's communication systems.

By 2007, global positioning systems will allow bus drivers and their dispatchers to pinpoint the positions of each of the system's 1,300 buses to within a few metres.
That means drivers can know when buses are behind or ahead of schedule and can take action to compensate, said union representative Jim Houlahan. He also said improved communications will make passengers safer and are a vast improvement over an obsolete, analog system.