BC Transit Launches ‘Next Bus’ SMS Feature in Victoria

BC Transit has launched their Next Bus SMS feature in Victoria, which allows riders to receive arrival information via text message.

All users need to do is text their Stop ID (found on each bus stop in the top right corner) and route number to ‘11111’ to get info on the next four buses set to arrive at that stop. Next Bus SMS compliments the same feature found on the BC Transit website.

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If you ride public transit, a must-have app is Transit App for iPhone. But if you don’t have an iPhone, or if you’re in an area without data coverage, the app can’t bring you real-time information. This is when SMS can still be helpful and this solution may help plan your trip. BC Transit says the SMS service “will always be the most up-to-date schedules”, whereas Transit App uses third-party data and “sometimes uses out-of-date schedules.”

At this time, there is no real-time bus GPS data available for BC Transit riders in Victoria. While buses do have Breeze+ GPS systems for calling out stops, the company says these Trekker-made units are read-only and they are unable to extract data.

One day, just one day BC Transit will offer real-time bus tracking in Victoria, like most major cities around the world (when will this happen, Matt?).

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