With the launch of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS), Bengaluru has become the first city in India to integrate a first-such intelligent public transport management system. It has been applied to 6,414 buses. So, how does ‘ITS’ work?
Let’s cut straight to the ITS launch and take a look at its screen at the Control Room in the BMTC head office.
Buses skipped the stop - 1,470
Deviation - 83
Early arrival - 401
Schedule not departed - 414
Late departure - 852
Interesting, isn’t it? What more could a traffic controller want? Meanwhile, the monitoring does not happen just at the ITS control room; the same information is monitored in all the 40 BMTC depots across Bengaluru. Upon monitoring, the depot manager can warn the bus crew which fails to function efficiently.
What are the key features of ITS?
The main features of ITS: GPS-enabled Vehicle Tracking System (VTM), Electronic Ticketing Machines (ETM), Passenger Information System (PIS), Control Room and data centre, BMTC mobile application.
How does the system function?
All the above mentioned features are interrelated. The complete fleet (6,400 buses) has been installed with GPS-based VTMs. The VTM monitors the movement of buses and transmits the information to the ITS Control Room at the BMTC Head office. The GPS device keeps track of various factors like the real-time movement of buses, skipped stops, deviation, early arrival, late departure and over-speeding (the speed limit for BMTC buses is 60 km per hour and for airport buses it is 80 km per hour).
Almost 80 per cent of the buses have been provided with GPRS-enabled ETMs. ETMs are used not only for issuing electronic tickets — they also help track the distance covered by a bus, number of passengers using the service, running time, number of tickets disbursed, etc. Under Passenger Information System, 35 information displays have been installed at 11 major bus stands.
The Control Room with 40 BMTC staff keeps track of all the information transmitted from the GPS and GPRS systems in the bus. Data comes from each bus every 10 seconds.
Importantly, one of the features of ITS is a newly launched Android app for the commuters to track real-time bus movements and solve the problem of unpredictability of buses. Called BMTC Easy Travel Information Planner, the app has the following main features:
1. Locate buses on route: Helps commuters track any bus
2. Trip planner: Helps new commuters get an idea of the best routes and buses by entering the source and destination locations. The app provides a list with bus numbers and their estimated time of arrival (ETA).
3. Buses to the airport.
4. Locate buses near stops.
The ETA changes according to the traffic that is tracked using Google Maps. The time can vary by 4-5 minutes depending on the traffic. Commuters can also save their favourite or most-used routes on the app and navigate them with ease.
The system has been developed by Trimax IT Infrastructure and Services Ltd. The same firm has provided IT services to BEST, UPSRTC, MSRTC and DTC. Trimax has been working on developing ITS for BMTC for the past 2.5 years.