The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has successfully fitted the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) in its fleet of buses.
The ITS project includes a vehicle tracking system, electronic ticketing system and passenger information system and other electronic and data-based initiatives aimed at bringing in operational efficiency while increasing commuter comfort. BMTC claims it is the first of its kind in India in city transport services.
BMTC is the sole provider of urban public transport in Bangalore operating 6,216 schedules with 6,400 vehicles ferrying 5.13 million passengers every day covering sub-urban and city areas with differentiated fares and passes suited to different commuter segments.
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah, who launched ITS for BMTC buses recently, said the government is aims to bring more discipline into the working of BMTC.
The fact is that despite the launch of Metro rail services in Bangalore, there has been no reduction in the number of passengers using BMTC buses. ITS comes at a time when the city is staggering under a population and pollution crisis, he added.
“We have a population of 1 crore, and a floating population of 10 lakh. With increasing IT and bio-technology industries, Bangalore suddenly expanded from about 250 square kimlometres to 800 square kilometres,“ he added.
Transport minister Ramalinga Reddy said that ITS will encourage more commuters to travel using public transport. However, in order for the system to be seamless, infrastructure such as potholes on roads and un-walkable footpaths had to be addressed.
The Intelligent Transport System enables a number of technology enhancements to BMTC's operations, aimed at making travel convenient and seamless for passengers. It includes a centralised, real-time monitoring system where buses fitted with GPS are monitored for their movement.
The ITS project helped BMTC to implement various GPS features. Now totally 6,400 buses are installed with VTUs for real-time tracking and monitoring of buses while collecting operational data and generating MIS reports. It also enables two-way voice communication between bus and the control centre.
The ITS scheme includes installation of electronic ticketing machines with GPRS communication across all depots.
The new project has also enabled BMTC to install a Passenger Information System (PIS). Around 35 passenger information displays are installed in 11 major bus stations including crowded stations like Kempegowda and Shivajinagar stations. “We will know if buses do not stop at the designated bus stops, if there are too many buses on a particular route or if buses are delayed,” Ramalinga Reddy said.
BMTC will issue smart cards from July as to use them in both BMTC and Namma Metro. By using electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) instead of manually handing out tickets, BMTC also hopes to check pilferage.
BMTC buses will also be fitted with an SOS button, near the driver's seat, to efficiently inform the central office in the event of a breakdown or any other problem with the bus.