Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is set to launch Wi-fi connectivity in 200 Volvo buses in two weeks’ time.
According to a report in The Times of India, select buses that ply to Whitefield, Electronic City and KIA, will offer Wi-fi connectivity to the passengers. The report states that the decision was taken to ease the travel experience of many commuters, who spend hours on the buses on a daily basis.
“Passengers from Majestic to Electronics City or Whitefield spend at least an hour (one way) in buses to cover the distance. Our aim is to help them with internet connectivity so that they can either work or indulge in some entertainment," Bialappa M Biradar, divisional traffic officer (commercial), BMTC told TOI.
An external agency will provide the facility, in return of which, the BMTC will let the company advertise on the LCD-LED panels on the buses. The company has reportedly been asked to provide a minimum bandwidth speed of 7.2 mbps.
"There will also be a facility for passengers to directly plug in their personal electronic devices, such as smartphones, tablets or laptops to access internet without streaming," Bialappa M Biradar was quoted as saying.
This is however, not the first time BMTC is trying to implement this service. It was in 2010 that the BMTC first launched a pilot project to provide Wi-fi in a few Vayu Vajra buses, that ferry passengers to the airport. With a good start, the service was expanded to 60 buses in four years, but was later discontinued, when the private company that provides internet backed off from the project.
While unnamed sources in BMTC indicated that its move to provide Wi-fi connectivity was a means of getting its passengers who now rely on cab-aggregators back, passengers opined that the BMTC must make sure that the service, once started, is not disrupted.
Earlier in February, BMTC has also proposed to give Wi-fi connectivity in 12 bus stations in the city. BMTC has reportedly called for tenders in this regard. While residents welcomed the move, they had also opined that BMTC must first focus on providing affordable services.