Bus services likely to get a tech upgrade

Card system, electronic ticketing, real-time updates planned

In the aftermath of the bus fare hike, the State Transport department is considering a few plans for improving services. Among the proposals are a common card system, introduction of electronic ticketing machines and work on projects to provide real-time information on bus timings.

A senior official of the department said that until the fare hike was effected, the State Transport Corporations (STCs), which were suffering losses of Rs. 9 crore daily, were short of funds and could not take up any development work.

But with the hike, there would be money for some projects.

Banks, which were earlier reluctant to fund projects, are now showing interest, he said.

The official said the infrastructure development projects were being planned on a step-by-step basis.

“Very soon, an Expression of Interest (EoI) for technology upgrade in issuing tickets through electronic ticketing machines will be called for. Already, the process is under way with talks being held with banks for issuing the EoI to purchase the machines.”

The official also said the department was planning to develop a common card system for the benefit of those travelling by Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) buses and the Metro Rail.

Public-private projects

Regarding grievances about the lack of real time data on bus timings and the unwillingness of the MTC to share data, the official said two projects in the public-private partnership mode would be implemented to provide information to the public.

The first step would be to enable the fleet with GPS devices and connect it to the servers.

He said, “At present, only static data of bus timings is available but once the GPS devices are installed and linked to a server in real time, bus timings can be made available to the public through apps.”

Banks which were earlier reluctant to fund projects are now showing interest

Transport department official

Ref : The Hindu | Read More

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