Whitehorse public transit users could soon have an app that allows them to see where their bus is and when it is arriving, if Whitehorse city council approves awarding a contract for the development and maintenance of the app to DoubleMap. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)

Whitehorse Transit – there could soon be an app for that

The app would provide real-time information on the bus schedule

Want to know if your bus is running late?

By the time the 2020/2021 school year rolls around there could be an app for that.

That’s the tentative timeline Michael Reyes, City of Whitehorse manager of business and technology services, provided Whitehorse city council to have the new app launched.

That’s if council approves awarding the contract for the development and maintenance of a Whitehorse Transit app to DoubleMap.

Reyes and transit manager Cheri Malo brought forward the recommendation to award the contract worth up to $181,400 for the work, with the maintenance portion of it to cover a three-year period to 2022 at the Dec. 2 council meeting.

The contract would include a one-time cost of $110,000 for the app with annual cost for $12,750 for software maintenance and $11,050 in data charges.

DoubleMap was one of two companies to put in a proposal for the work with the other proposal deemed non-compliant.

Having such an app in place is among the recommendations set out in the 2018 transit master plan.

Reyes said the app would use GPS technology to provide real-time information on the bus schedule — if buses are running late, exactly where they are on their route and so on.

Another feature would allow users to purchase transit credits on the app and pay that way when they get on a bus. Customers could also continue to use cash, tickets and traditional transit passes.

Coun. Steve Roddick wondered why the city isn’t offering debit and credit card payment options on the bus.

Reyes said those payment options may be considered in the future, but it would be an extra cost as well as training for staff at this point.

He also pointed out the city has a contract for electronic payments with another provider that would have to be looked at.

Reyes said right now the focus is on the app, but the integration of debit and credit card payments may be considered down the road.

Council will vote on the contract for the app at its Dec. 9 meeting.

That’s when members are also slated to vote on another transit contract that could see the city purchase six new buses over a three-year period.

City operations manager Richard Graham brought forward the recommendation contracts for the supply of buses be awarded to Nova Bus, a division of Volvo, which has supplied the city with buses in years past.

Each of the three contracts would be $1.076 million with the 2020 contract and 2021 contract subject to future capital budget approvals.

Nova was one of two companies to submit proposals with the other determined as non-compliant.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

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