Welcome aboard the new BCSV Website. We hope it has been worth the long wait. But as they say, you can never miss a late bus!
The team at MP Productions have done a brilliant job putting together this website for us, which has involved countless hours of work by our webmaster Matt Fleay-Daly. Just as much time has been spent preparing content by our secretary Paul Kennelly, assistant secretary Craig Halsall and publications editor Geoff Foster.
This summary highlights the many aspects of the website and should whet your appetite for some of the future developments still to come!
As the name suggests, this section of the website provides an overview of the activities of the BCSV.
The section includes committee bios, some notes on the society’s long history, the full set of Model Rules adopted in 2013 along with annual reports. We have also included a summary on the process to obtain a club permit for restored vehicles.
Our dedicated tours section provides an overview of the many tours, meetings and events the society holds each year.
There is an events calendar, where you can download events directly into your iCal or Google Calendar as a reminder.
As each event passes, it is archived into the past events calendar, which we hope will reduce the all too common question of “How long since we last visited X?”. Over time, we will add events going back over a decade.
Complementing the past events calendar is a Tours Blog, which will provide detail summaries of the day along with photos. Over time, we plan to add tour articles from ABP over the years. Anyone wishing to assist us with writing items for the tours blog should email email@example.com
In the second half of the year we plan to trial optional online bookings integrated with online payments. MP Productions already successfully managed online bookings for a recent mystery tour held by the “Melbourne Tram Tours” team.
Undoubtedly the most exciting feature of the BCSV website is our Virtual Museum.
The Virtual Museum will bring together the wealth of knowledge the society has amassed over five decades.
Presently the content of the Virtual Museum is a little lacking, but over time we plan to bring together hundreds of articles, some of which have appeared in publications in the past alongside content recently researched. Effectively it will become THE online encyclopaedia of Victorian bus operations over the past century.
Topics covered by the Virtual Museum include histories on the different types of buses and bodies over the years; company histories, suburb and town histories; route histories; network development; liveries; and feature articles about bus operations in Victoria, interstate and overseas.
Those wishing to contribute articles or other content to the Virtual Museum can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org along with any suitable photos. We then review the article (including for accuracy) before uploading it. Regular contributors will be given access to directly post items themselves (which is relatively straight forward)
This section includes a online contact form, committee email directory and a links page to sister groups across Australia and New Zealand along with the numerous transport related groups and museums across Victoria.
STILL TO COME…
We also have several major features still to come, including…
Interactive Membership Form
The current PDF membership form is an interim feature, which we plan to replace with an integrated online membership form.
To modernise our sales of CD-ROMs and books, the society is currently developing an online store that will allow members to purchase items online.
Over time we plan to offer apparel as well as providing members’ options to sell products such as tiebars, mudflaps, stubby holders and the like.
The online store will not offer one-off sales, which will feel are better done via eBay and Gumtree, or the Buy Sell & Swap section of ATDB.
Later in the year, we will also launch a password-only Members’ Portal. This will include back issues of Australian Bus Panorama, scans of old magazines and various documents in our archives, like Transport Regulatory Board files.
Complimenting the Virtual Museum will be our Photo Archive database, bringing together the tens of thousands of photos in our archives, some of which have previously been made available on CD-ROM. Members’ will also be able to upload their own photos from recent decades, providing an online space lost when Fotopic folded.
Many members’ record video footage and sound bytes of vehicles, both on our tours and around the network. We plan to tie together all this footage into a sound and video gallery that will be linked with users’ existing YouTube channels.
A dedicated BCSV YouTube Channel will also be created, where we plan to provide footage from our social meetings and some tours. We will also use the channel to host any archival footage donated to the society.
An additional feature for the “About” section will be a BCSV FAQ database, to be added later in the year, covering some of the more common questions that the society receives. We will be asking members to submit suggestions for questions and topics soon.
Online Tour Bookings
We have plans to introduce online bookings for our tours later in the year to help manage demand and streamline fare collection on the day, adapting the same system successfully used by Melbourne Tram Tours.
We also hope to manage all bookings (including rooms) for our yet-to-be-announced 2018 overnight tour using this booking software.