BCTracker is a browser for the GTFS (General Transit Feed Specification) static and realtime data provided by BC Transit. The data is presented here for the use of whoever is interested, with the goal of making it easier to browse schedules and track down buses in communities around British Columbia.
When BCTracker was first created, Victoria was the only supported transit system. After some significant improvements to the website code in 2021, we began to add support for other major transit systems around the province. This process is still ongoing as each additional system requires more server resources and, in some cases, custom support in order to be fully integrated with the website.
With the rollout of NextRide in more transit systems around BC, we've started adding more systems to the website as realtime information becomes available. Currently we support 14 systems with realtime information and 2 systems where only schedule data is available. Unfortunately, some of the smallest communities around BC do not have any GTFS information at all, so we are unable to add those systems at this time.
As the largest metropolitan area in BC, transit in Vancouver is managed by Translink rather than BC Transit, making it harder to integrate smoothly. Since long before BCTracker was started there have been numerous websites providing transit schedules and realtime information for Vancouver, including T-Comm, Sorry Bus Full, and TransitDB. BCTracker was developed specifically because there were no equivalent websites for the rest of the province, and we choose to leave Vancouver in the good hands of those websites which are dedicated to it.
Realtime information is provided by BC Transit's NextRide API. Before January 2022, this data was only available for a limited number of larger transit systems. Until the rollout of NextRide to more communities is complete, we unfortunately cannot include realtime for some systems.
The website (both the pages and the data processing code) is written in Python using a simple web framework called Bottle. The code can be found on GitHub if you are interested in seeing how it works or trying to run it yourself.
If you are curious about BCTracker, have questions, or something seems broken, you can contact us directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also join the Transit Vancouver Discord Server where we occasionally discuss upcoming features for the website, and enjoy chatting about all things transit-related. Please note that the server is primarily dedicated to discussing transit in Vancouver (where we are from), but non-Vancouverites are always welcome!