B.C. Transit tests mobile-friendly website that has trip planning

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It is a little difficult to use on mobile devices and it kicks you to Google if you want trip planning. B.C. Transit’s website, which hasn’t changed much in the past decade, could stand some improving.

The Crown agency recognizes the shortcomings and has been working on a major upgrade. They recently rolled out a “public preview" and you’re invited to have a look and to make suggestions.

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I mostly like the site as it appears in the preview. But there are quirks.

The trip planner, where you type in where you’re leaving from and where you want to go, is integrated into the site instead of relying on a Google interface.

But it can make odd suggestions and has unexplained jargon. For example: Walk to westbound Vernon NS Nigel (#100642). When I asked for directions from Uptown to Swartz Bay ferry terminal, it suggested that I get off way too early and walk, instead of simply staying on the bus and getting off in front of the terminal.

In the mobile version, when I touched the link for the Route 6 schedule, I had to scroll past alert boxes, next departures, the trip planner, the find a bus route search box, the next bus at this stop box, and a route map before the schedule appeared.

My nitpicking aside, the new site is a definite improvement. But the information on it still reflects the schedule, not reality. There’s no gear in place yet — as there is in Vancouver — that tracks the real-time location of buses, versus where the schedule says they should be.

You can find B.C. Transit’s new website for Victoria at: preview.bctransit.com/victoria/home

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