After years of speculation, the Bangalore Metropolitan transport Corporation (BMTC) has finally embarked on making some visible changes on the ground by implementing the intelligent transport system (ITS). This will make BMTC the country’s first state-run road transport corporation to introduce intelligent transport.
Officials claim that ITS — installation of electronic ticketing machines (ETM), smart cards, GPS and other initiatives — will make travelling in city buses more reliable and convenient.
The initiatives were earlier limited to trial runs. But officials are now confident of implementing these in a full-fledged manner. BMTC managing director Ekroop Caur said the project is being implemented under build, operate and transfer system.
“As part the project, GPS and electronic ticketing machines have already been installed in a majority of our buses. In April, we will start issuing smart cards for commuters. The advanced mobile application will help commuters track buses and get information on bus routes, fare, arrival and departure times,” Caur said.
The BMTC has also set up control rooms for mapping and monitoring movement of buses installed with GPS, testing smart cards, working on adding advanced features to existing mobile apps, training conductors on operating ETMs and various other initiatives.
Electronic ticketing machines
The BMTC plans to issue 10,000 ETMs and cover all the operations. For years the BMTC has relied on paper tickets and passes. ETMs and smart cards will help the corporation in big way. Depot-level officials can track occupa-ncy rate in the bus, and fare collected. “Complaints that paper tickets are reissued by conductors will stop. Some conductors feel it will be diffuclt to handle ETMs. However, once they undergo training, they will get accustomed to the machine. ETMs are also very convenient for them because there is no need to carry bags or trip sheets. At the end of the trip, all they have to do is generate a slip and deposit the money at the depot,” an official said.
The BMTC is all set to launch open loop card as per the specifications fixed by the National Payment Corporation of India. The smart cards which will be issued by the corporation can be used for commuting in city buses. In addition to commuting, the card will function like debit and credit cards for passengers. To commute in city buses, a smartcard holder has to hand over the card to the bus conductor and tell him the destination. The conductor will tap the card on the ETM. The money gets deducted from the card depending on the distance. The passenger gets a ticket generated by the ETMs.
In addition to daily travel, passengers can use the same for purchase of monthly passes from the corporation. Director (IT) of BMTC Bishwajit Mishra said the cards will be issued free of cost. “The card can be used for daily commuting as well as monthly passes. At present people have to stand in a queue to buy monthly passes but in future they can easily recharge the card online. Cardholders need not carry any cash with them to travel in BMTC buses,” Mishra said. In future these these smart cards might be converted to a common mobility card that will enable passengers to also travel in the Metro operated by BMRCL.
Installation of GPS will help control rooms map and monitor buses to achieve accuracy of operations. GPS will also help them track reckless and speeding drivers, deviation of buses from designated routes, and failure to stop at designated stops. GPS will also help BMTC see whether drivers are completing scheduled trips. Mishra said installation of GPS is pending in only around 200 buses of the nearly 6,400 buses in the fleet.
Source: Bangalore Mirror