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BC Transit (Victoria Regional Transit System) news and issues


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#6221 Mike K.

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:39 AM

It’s not rocket science any more. Government or public service websites should never go down in this day and age barring major infrastructure issues that are outside of the control of hosting firms.

Large websites should be on scalable infrastructure. BC Hydro faced a fury a few years back when their website became inaccessible at the first hint of a major weather event. They’ve since picked up their game and there are no more disruptions.

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#6222 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:41 AM

it’s not like it’s a new issue with that website. seems pretty feeble.

^ right. and the bch website is a lot more complex. or at least the outages part is. transit should really be able to handle it.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 11 February 2019 - 07:43 AM.


#6223 Mike K.

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:48 AM

Yikes. BCTransit is hosted on Rogers infrastructure. Their DNS settings point back to Telus. This means they’re likely paying quite a bit for managed hosting on an inadequate setup.
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#6224 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:54 AM

anyway good thing for social media it’s probably the easiest place to check for all manner of closures and snow issues.

look at bc ferries they do a good job just on twitter even though their website has 15 different ways to look at terminals and issues.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 11 February 2019 - 07:56 AM.


#6225 Mike K.

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:57 AM

Yup.

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#6226 Cats4Hire

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 07:57 AM

Only problem is they're mainly updating Victoria. Salt Spring got a couple but I haven't seen any updates for Nanaimo or any other region. I guess they have the bus tracker up some places but looking at the site it doesn't have anywhere for alerts so that's only useful in knowing how late your bus is.



#6227 Mike K.

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:16 AM

Under previous management the system was allowed to lag extremely far behind other systems. Technologically speaking we’re a decade behind and it’s hard to understand how in 2019 we still rely on hand-written messages on a difficult to use website for information.

It was literally 20-years-ago when BCT first identified live tracking at major bus stops as a priority.

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#6228 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 08:36 AM

yes the catchup is long overdue. i can’t think of a better way to get more people onto transit and more money in the fatebox than the real time tracker.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 11 February 2019 - 08:38 AM.


#6229 Dinya

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 01:41 PM

 

anyway good thing for social media it’s probably the easiest place to check for all manner of closures and snow issues.

 

Unless you are our millennial support staff who apparently granted herself a snow day because "BC Transit's website was down."  <facepalm>

 

Really?  Back in the day you tuned into CFAX or other local stations ... or just went out and stood at a stop for 1/2 hour or so before making that decision.

 

Anyway, glad the BC Transit is finally using their social media just wish it were updated a wee bit more timely.



#6230 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 11 February 2019 - 01:47 PM

Unless you are our millennial support staff who apparently granted herself a snow day because "BC Transit's website was down."  <facepalm>

 

:rtfm:



#6231 Mike K.

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:15 PM

Has BC Ferries farmed out its press releases to Black Press? Yikes.

Travel Advisory
Snowfall Warning in Continuing [!] - February 12

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall warning over Vancouver Island [over?], predicting snowfall with total amounts of 10 to 25 cm.

A second low pressure centre [couldn’t use “system,” had to come up with their own word here] in as many days will give [give?] more snow to the South Coast [where is South Coast, BC, and aren’t we talking about Vancouver Island as per the first paragraph?] continuing into this morning [which morning, the morning of the 12th, or the 13th?]. This second disturbance [odd wording, but go on:] will spread snow to virtually the entire South Coast [again with the South Coast] with heaviest amounts falling ​last night [hold on, what? But isn’t this an update dated February 12th?]. Total snowfall amounts will vary across the region with 10 to 25 cm falling in most areas with somewhat higher amounts possible [somewhat possible, hey?] on Vancouver Island.. [two periods; but higher amounts compared to what? I thought we were dealing with Vancouver Island here?]

Rapidly accumulating snow will make travel difficult and may result in disruption of service. Please expect delays as we do our best to get as many customers as possible to their destination. It will take extra time to safely load and offload vehicles safely. [very good] - https://www.bcferrie...l-advisory.html
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#6232 Rob Randall

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:42 PM

^How is someone in the communications department with extremely poor communication skills expect to improve if you are constantly criticizing them? The path to literacy is long and difficult and these disadvantaged people need loving support, not ridicule from armchair critics.


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#6233 SamCB

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 12:59 PM

Didn't BCF just scoop up Astrid Braunschmidt for a communications gig?

 

Let's hope Astrid can shake some meteorological sense into whomever penned that release...


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#6234 Nparker

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:06 PM

Didn't BCF just scoop up Astrid Braunschmidt for a communications gig?

I am not sure how recently she was scooped up, but she spoke about something on the CHEK news last night.



#6235 Jackerbie

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 01:10 PM

To be fair, some of the verbiage is taken directly from Environment Canada, which put out a single announcement that covers both Vancouver Island and the South Coast, aka the lower mainland and Sunshine Coast. "Low centre" is in fact how EC described it. Here's the text of the alert: https://weather.gc.c...ort_e.html?bc43



#6236 Mike K.

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 02:18 PM

For sure, a “low centre” is a-ok, but what’s a “low pressure centre?”

The EV release makes sense and doesn’t mind-twist readers. The slush BCF put out is pretty funny. It’s like they took that release and tried to re-write it, but there’s no need to.

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#6237 On the Level

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:31 PM

It’s not rocket science any more. Government or public service websites should never go down in this day and age barring major infrastructure issues that are outside of the control of hosting firms.

 

Except cost. Infrastructure is the easy part.

 

Uptime is cheap for hosting / cloud services from the major players as they will typically give you 99% (7.4 hours down per month)  or 99.9% (45 minutes per month).  That works well for simple web content since hosting doesn't typically cover applications that are sit on top of the host.

 

99% or 99.9% for Transactional, Case Management, etc systems is possible (and currently provisioned by BC where appropriate), but not at the cost of hosting.

 

Getting to "100%" uptime is attempted but outrageously cost prohibitive unless there is a need (NASA, a nuclear power plant).  I'm not sure that's what we would want as a taxpayer.



#6238 Rob Randall

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 08:52 PM

^I don't understand that techie mumbo-jumbo and still can't understand why something never works when you need it most.


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#6239 Mike K.

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:05 PM

For sure there is a cost, but the costs are significantly lower for redundant server infrastructure today compared to even five years ago. The technology is simple (most techs can handle it), very affordable and best of all it’s pay-as-you-go, so unlike yesteryear when a large organization needed five servers in the event of busy periods, today it exists on the cloud and can scale to 50 if the need arises, then down to 0.01 the rest of the time.

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#6240 On the Level

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Posted 12 February 2019 - 10:36 PM

^I don't understand that techie mumbo-jumbo and still can't understand why something never works when you need it most.

 

For sure there is a cost, but the costs are significantly lower for redundant server infrastructure today compared to even five years ago. The technology is simple (most techs can handle it), very affordable and best of all it’s pay-as-you-go, so unlike yesteryear when a large organization needed five servers in the event of busy periods, today it exists on the cloud and can scale to 50 if the need arises, then down to 0.01 the rest of the time.

 

Infrastructure is no longer the major factor for up-time.  Application supporting financials, taxation, justice, health, identity, case management (children).....etc etc.  Those that interface/interact with other systems are complicated.  If one has an issue, then how do you get records back in sync?  It isn't instant. 

 

BC systems also have to interact across North America......deadbeat parents, collections, justice.  If one needs an update...even a patch.....it can cause ripple effects back to BC.  

 

BC declares legislation as it should but who is going to cut a separate branch of code for BC?......4M people....the size of a small to medium sized city?  Not many vendors which means expensive customization.  BC has teams checking custom code for every minor fix/ security patch but it can't be 100%.


Edited by On the Level, 12 February 2019 - 10:37 PM.


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