In less than six months since the launch of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS), the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has been able to keep track of buses on a real-time basis and trace any deviations from the designated routes. Armed with a back-end system, the BMTC will use technology to improve its efficiency.
During the programme ‘Bus Karo’, a campaign run by WRI India to promote sustainable urban mobility initiatives, Bishwajit Mishra, director (IT), BMTC, revealed an bizarre incident.
Mishra said: “A GPS-enabled BMTC bus (attached to the Indiranagar depot) was found deviating from the designated route and skipping many bus stops. When we checked in the ITS control room, we learnt that the driver was using the bus to run charter services without the knowledge of the depot managers.”
Later, another BMTC official added that the driver used the bus to ferry passengers to a community hall in Benson Town, skipping a few schedules.
“As we confronted him with proof, the driver admitted to his mistake. The incident also alerted other employees attached to different bus depots. This will help us plug revenue leaks,” he explained.
Under the ITS project, Mishra said BMTC has procured 10,000 electronic ticketing machines (ETMs) and GPS systems and will be installed in all buses, besides adopting several technology-driven programmes. “We can now monitor over speeding of buses, skipping of bus stops and stationary buses from our control room. At first, we will sensitise our staff instead of holding them responsible,” he told the audience comprising experts and representatives from different state transport undertakings.
Mishra added that the ITS project is helping BMTC cut down on operational costs.
“We will soon adopt a two-tier system of administration instead of a three-tier system, which KSRTC follows. With this, we can scrap the divisional control office, making the depot managers directly accountable to the head office,” he said.
The officer also said the next cycle of bus passes would be issued in the form of open-loop smart cards, which will be launched next January. These cards could be used for transit and non-transit purposes, he noted.