BMTC's smart bus project may start by year-end

BMTC's smart bus project may start by year-end

Hopping onto a BMTC bus equipped with an Intelligent Transport Solution (ITS) is closer to reality than ever before. Past all the promises and hype over the last two years, the Corporation has invited tenders for the project as also for a control data centre.

The most useful and important aspect of ITS is the real time information update of buses that passengers can receive during their wait at bus stops.

Sending an SMS to a given number or logging onto a website created for the purpose will allow passengers to know the exact location where a particular bus is, at a given point in time.

This will lead to a great improvement in load factor which is a common problem in BMTC buses.

During peak and non-peak hours on certain routes, a couple of buses are seen jampacked, while some of the following buses are almost empty. That anomaly can be eliminated once passengers know how many buses are plying on a given route at a particular time through ITS.

Electronic ticketing machines (ETMs), Global Positioning System, General Packet Radio System (GPRS) and real time Public Information System (PIS) will form part of ITS. The BMTC will equip its entire fleet of 6,500-odd buses with ITS.

The GPRS facility will, however, not allow surfing internet inside the bus. It will facilitate the PIS on a given website which users log on to.

Funding for the project will be by the selected project management consultant. The company will also be involved in all aspects of the project from design and development to training, operation and maintenance for a period of five years, after which BMTC will take control of all equipment.

ITS is expected to start before the end of 2012. However, till the Common Mobility Card (CMC) comes into existence, the ETMs will continue to print tickets on paper.

M P Prabhudas, Chief Traffic Manager Operations of BMTC, said: “While we have called for tenders for procuring ETMs, it does not mean the machines will replace printed tickets with e-cash through cards. For that, the State government has to first implement the CMC.”But BMTC is ensuring that the day CMC becomes a reality, its buses are equipped with card reading machines.

The concept will soon be implemented by KSRTC in Mysore under the Sustainable Urban Transport Project.

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