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BMTC can make use of simple technologies to attract more commuters

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BusPublic Transport

Whole of current week I have been choosing Bus instead of my Car for commuting to office.  Here is been my experience and suggestions for BMTC.

My journey is between Arekere Gate and Dairy Circle on a typical week day. Between 9.30-10.30 am I have always been lucky enough to find a Volvo bus to office and journey is always comfortable. I even feel like reading a book in those 20-25 minutes. However when I want to go back from office to home (7.30 to 8.30 pm) I have never managed to find a Volvo bus and I have to wait for very long time(more than 20 mins) to find a reasonably crowded non Volvo bus.  The experince has been not good.

In summary: I would prefer the bus, if following 2 conditions are satisfied: 1) I need to find a seat in the bus  2)  The time to find a suitable bus is deterministic.

I have a suggestion for 2).   BMTC can equip buses with GPS.  The data can be fed to internet. At my office, I can check the current position of the bus and hence approximate the time bus will take to reach the nearest bus stand. I can decide when to leave from office or home, so that my waiting time for bus is reduced. If GPS is expensive for BMTC, they can equip buses with RFIDs and each bus stop would record the current position of the bus as soon as they arrive.  Also bus stops can have LCD displays, which show the current position of the bus.

I would never take my car again to office, if BMTC can implement such a system.


Naveen's picture

Tech Options - GPRS best

121 users have liked.

Bharath_Hegde - interesting post, & welcome.

We had a discussion recently at BMTC & the general consensus had been that countdown signs at bus stops might be somewhat of an overkill & might not really be necessary, given the high costs & complications for installing RFID networks & maintaining them. Also, since each bus stop usually has multiple buses passing through it, either multiple display signs or many signs would be necessary at each stop for the various routes. Defacing or damage by vandals was also an issue. The utility value for users is somewhat limited since information will be available only upon reaching bus stops.

A cost efficient & easy option would of course be to have a time table posted at each stop with arrival times for all buses throughout the day - this is what is in practice at most bus stops around the world. Additionally, for those that need real-time information, GPRS sets could be installed on buses in a phased manner & information can be made available through internet freely & also through mobile phones with SMS facility, chargeable to users. Thus, users would have the option of reaching a bus stop just before bus arrival.

GPRS is preferable since it would also enable monitoring & congestion - this is already being done on buses installed with such sets.

bharath_hegde's picture

Time Tables Won't be effective due to traffic.

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Good to know such options are already discussed with BMTC.  I hope you meant GPS ( not GPRS) in the above post.

I think that installing time tables will only work well in the starting place. Due to huge  jams and chaotic  nature of traffic,  buses will not be able to comply with the time mentioned in the time table and I think we have to accept that. So GPS will surely be a hit.  By the way I agree that having time tables is even more a basic necessity.




rkrishnan's picture

What is the status of GPS on Volvo Buses

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Was it tried and abandoned ?

Are these Volvo buses pre-equipped with GPS sets or are these separately installed  and what is the cost of one GPS+Cellular modem module ?







Naveen's picture

BMTC Bus Route Information

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GPRS above should have read GPS - regret error.

Time tables at intermediate bus stops would only be indicative & might not be accurate due to traffic delays but at least, people would know when a bus would be due, & informs users about schedules /frequencies during weekdays & on weekends.

Posting printed route & time information at bus stops would also help in feedback mechanisms & complaint /greviance redressals. This would take care of the needs for most users.

To have real-time information, GPS might be an answer & will also do away with the much larger investments /maintenance needed for the network of countdown signs at each bus stop.



A service called 'Yelli Iddira' had been commenced earlier where one could use mobile phone to receive SMS about bus locations, but it had been wound down. Currently, Volvo vayu vajras are fitted with GPS - not sure about costs, though & if they carry GPS+Cellular modem module.

kbsyed61's picture

Route Data Base - key to any route search tool

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From the Bus Day interaction with BMTC, we learn't that the basic building block of route information - Route data base is not readily available with BMTC. This is something BMTC should work on war footing to get a database ready ASAP. This can only be provided by BMTC. I was told there are about one lakh records that needs to be converted into electronic form for this purpose. This definitely needs a experienced outside agency to get the paper information converted into electronic data. I would vote for putting all the pressure on BMTC to get this going. Once you have the data, analysis, search, queries, applications can esaily be built.


s_yajaman's picture

Route and bus stop data base also necessary

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 I have seen some limited use of GPS data on  The big problem I have is that I don't know which direction the bus is going in!  That needs to be sorted out somehow.

The other important thing that BMTC needs to do given that they now have ownership of bus-stops is to number each one of them in some methodical manner and maintain a data base of that as well.  Each bus route will then become a sequence of bus stops.  A journey plan then becomes easy.  I can e.g. find alternate routes from say Jayanagar to  ITPL (one maybe via Bangalore Club and the other via BTM Layout.).

The bus stop database itself can have a number of fields pertaining to maintenance data, advertising data if applicable, etc.





Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

kbsyed61's picture

Clarification - Route data base is all inclusive!

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My mentioning of route data was in the context of all the elements that constitute a route,i.e. route number, Origin, database, fare, bus stops, timings and all other attributes.

s_yajaman's picture

Just emphasising bus stops

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Just emphasising the point that bus-stops should be numbered uniquely and put into the system so that journey and trip planning can be done.

Once all the routes are put in BMTC can visually display them on some map to see which roads, areas are neglected.  



Drive safe.  It is not just the car maker which can recall its product.

idontspam's picture

Bus stops & other data

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 bus-stops should be numbered uniquely

Geotagging stops can be unique and can help in plotting on a map as well. At a broader level the reality is, all data is not available electronically and obviously not a way of life at BMTC. If BMTC cant use databases instead of paper/manual and hence keep the data updated to match reality, any amount of one time translation by third parties will render the data useless after a few days. comment guidelines

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