The ITS components for the Bus Rapid Transit system in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada costs $5.8 million (Canadian).

August 2003
Richmond,British Columbia,Canada; Vancouver,British Columbia,Canada

Summary Information

This report describes the deployment of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system to enhance bus operations and improve customer service in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, Canada. In August 2001, BRT route #98 B-Line was introduced to connect the city of Richmond with Vancouver. The BRT service includes several ITS components including Automated Vehicle Location (AVL) technology, transit signal priority systems, onboard voice and digital announcements of next stop information, and real time bus arrival time information using digital countdown signs at bus stops. In addition, other non-ITS components were deployed including dedicated curbside bus lanes, queue jumper lanes, median busways, and platform stations at signalized intersections.

The AVL technology deployed uses a global positioning system (GPS) to track vehicle location. On-board computers calculate the location of each bus and send data to a central control center where each bus’s location is mapped on a computer screen using flag-shaped icons. Green flags represent buses ahead of schedule and red flags represent buses behind schedule. Transit management personnel monitor bus progress on each route and advise operators of schedule deviations. Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) facilitate voice and data communications between drivers and the transit control center and allow bus drivers to select unique messages to communicate with passengers concerning route or schedule adjustments. In addition, if a bus is behind schedule, the AVL system automatically links to an integrated automated signal control system and requests green signal extensions, or advanced green signals at intersections pre-authorized to provide conditional priority in each jurisdiction. AVL is also installed on two supervisor cars, to allow the transit control center to determine the location of supervisors relative to any buses that may need assistance.

The #98 B-Line investment included the acquisition of 25 business properties and the development of five stations spaced approximately 300-400 meters apart on a 2.5 kilometer section of median busway on No. 3 Road in the city of Richmond. The service operates 22 hours per day, seven days per week, and uses 22 low floor articulated buses out of a fleet of 28 vehicles. The route uses 18 bus stops and shelters and services approximately 18,000 passengers per day.

Overall, the capital cost for all ITS and non-ITS system components totaled $44.2 million Canadian dollar (CAD) (2001). The table below, excerpted from the report, details the ITS capital cost components of the project. The report contains a cost breakdown of the non-ITS components.

ITS Components
Capital Costs
(Millions CAD)
Automated Vehicle Location and Real-Time Information System
Transit Signal Priority System

A total of 65 intersections along the route were planned to have transit signal priority installed, but not all priority systems were implemented at the time of this report. The author indicated that jurisdictional issues hampered the implementation of signal priority in some areas, and technical issues associated with upgrading the algorithm used to calculate bus positions in reference to bus stops caused some delays in deploying a fully operational system.

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Evolution of Bus Rapid Transit in Greater Vancouver, BC

Author: Lambert, William

Published By: Paper presented at the ITE 2003 Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington

Source Date: August 2003

System Cost

Transit Signal Priority System: $1.6M (CAD) (2001).

Automated Vehicle Location and Real-Time Information System: $4.2M (CAD) (2001).


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Cost ID: 2004-00078