If there’s one complaint heard over and over again about the services of the BMTC, it is that buses are never on time, and nearly impossible to order one’s schedule by. But it seems that help is at hand for this common commuter predicament.
Struggling with a burgeoning population and an increasingly grid-locked traffic system, the BMTC has launched its much-hyped Intelligent Transport System (ITS), two years after its pilot project was announced in 2013.
Dubbed to be one of the first such systems the country has seen, the intelligent commuting system is being applied in 6,414 buses.
The ITS will see buses equipped with electronic ticketing machines (ETMs), smart cards (which are set to become operational, tentatively by the end of July) and GPS tracking. “The ETMs and the vehicle tracking system is what makes this one of a kind. It is going to be a model for the other states to replicate,” says Ekroop Caur, BMTC’s Managing Director, to The News Minute.
As part of the roll-out, the corporation has launched a new Android app aimed at tackling any commuter complaints regarding the uncertainty and unpredictability of its services.
Named BMTC, the app stands out among the several such private apps in the play store. Calling itself an ‘Easy Travel Information Planner’, the app was made available on May 25, for the android market.
The application comes with four main features — ‘Locate Buses on Route’, ‘Trip Planner’, ‘Buses to the Airport ’and ‘Locate buses near stops’.
While the Locate buses option helps commuters track any bus, the Trip planner option works well for new commuters or those travelling to an unfamiliar location. The option enables a person to enter the source and the destination locations, after which the app lists bus numbers, along with their estimated time of arrival (ETA). “The app is as useful for a new commuter, as it is for regulars,” adds Ekroop
A quick search for buses on St Mark’s Road showed that the ETA, which changes with fluctuations in traffic, was relatively accurate to within a minute of the actual arrival of buses. However, the ETA could be thrown off if your phone is using a slow internet connection. The app also lets commuters save their favorite routes, and navigate them with ease.
The app which was launched for the android on Wednesday will see releases in other platforms, later this month.