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Mysore ITS - Experience to share

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I was in Mysore this weekend along with my laptop and Internet Dongle. 1 Month back, Intelligent Transport System, an online tracking of buses was launched in Mysore. Project is called 'Mitra'.

This was developed by my ex company CMC Limited from where I had news that such a system was getting developed for Mysore. I was keen to check and see how efficiently system is working. In front of our house in Mysore, lots of buses passes and wanted to experiment.

This is the website of Mysore ITS:

mitra.ksrtc.in

Following are the features:

1. Bus Stops are going to get LED displays where the expected bus number and expected time within next 30 minutes will be displayed. Every bus stop has got an ITS Code which is painted on the LED panel.

 

Courtesy Mysore Admirer : SSC

2. An IVRS system with a Toll Free Number both in English and Kannada.  A call centre is also attached to it.   We can provide Bus Stop Code or Bus Route Number or speak to operator if we don't know.

 

3. SMS Based Query (Not toll free) by typing MITRA <STOP CODE> or MITRA <BUS NUMBER>.

4. Web based where we can select 5 bus routes and track them online or click on bus stops and get the expected Bus Time, same info that is displayed on  LEDs.

 

I went around to see if the bus stops have got display. Still displays have not reached all the bus stops and displays were present where there was shelter in bus stop. In few of the stops, they were present but was not switched on.

Regarding tracking, there was a little discrepency between web based, IVRS and SMS. Web based is providing more accurate data even providing the registration number of the bus. IVRS based provided bus numbers, but the buses did not arrive most of the times. Same was the case for SMS based.

I was checking on the web if a bus is going to come to nearest bus stop and watch at the gate. Most of the new buses came ontime. For surprise,  few old buses came to bus stop which were not displayed on the web. Probably they did not had GPS fitted in them. 

I could not get a chance to verify how accurate the data provided in LED displays since the stop near our home did not had one.

Overall it is a good going. Some of the wish lists are:

 

1. Buses on the map do not have the direction in which they are going - If they can provide destination or UP or Down, it would be more useful.

2. Bus Stops on the map unless you know the ITS code, do not have in which direction the stop is located.

 

3. Apps for smart phones - Importantly IOS and Android since userbase is high

4. A small application or web pop up menu which can display the buses coming to the interested bus stop at the corner of desktop like a cricket score card ticker.

5. Integration with google maps atleast for the route numbers (like Bangalore).

Next thing, when will BMTC get such a facility. We are paying hefty ticket prices compared to Mysore without any such facility. YI was good which was stopped.

 

 

Comments

murali772's picture

now KSRTC's turn for 'grand' upgradation

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34 users have liked.

Passengers, who frequently use the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) bus service, will now be able to monitor and track 2,000 buses as they have been fitted with tracking systems to provide live updates.

The Vehicle Tracking and Monitoring System (VTMS), an internal bus-tracking facility, which was being tested by the KSRTC, has now been thrown open to the public. Commuters can now go to a dedicated website and track the location of their bus based on their trip code, PNR number or even the bus registration number.

- - - “The VTMS system was being tested. We now think we can make this information accessible to our customers. Phase 1 of the system includes 2,000 buses, which cover all our premium operations, long-distance routes and express routes,” said KSRTC Managing Director Rajender Kumar Kataria.

- - - The VTMS will work alongside the Intelligent Transport Solution (ITS) system that KSRTC has implemented for Mysuru city services, which includes an app. The usage of this app will then be evaluated to create another app for tracking the 2,000 buses.


For the full text of the report in The Hindu, click here.

Now, if you go on to "RedBus" (long distance bus services aggregator) site, you'll notice that such services, and a lot more, are already being offered by them, from long. The even more interesting fact is that APSRTC, MSRTC, HRTC, UPSRTC, etc services too are aggregated by RedBus, but not KSRTC's services. It's perhaps true that KSRTC had taken the lead over their counterparts in other states, or even RedBus, in setting up their on-line reservation system. But, it is in no way comparable in user-friendliness with the RedBus system. I have been using the RedBus system regularly, and I can see improvements in it each time I log in.

I must confess I haven't used the KSRTC system from long - I used to, for some specific services, until a few years back. Well, it worked alright then; but I very much doubt if it has caught up, or it can even hope to, with the innovations incorporated by RedBus.

More importantly, the upgradation is of course going to involve costs, whereas RedBus services are available more or less free, or at worst at some marginal costs. And going by the BMTC yardstick of Rs 79 cr for their fancy ITS system (which though inaugurated in grand style, is still largely a work-in-progress - check here for more), this too is going to be boring a fair-sized hole in the tax payers' pockets.

Further, this new service is supposedly going to be working alongside Mysore KSRTC's ITS, which in itself has not exactly set the Cauvery on fire, and which reason, one would like to think, for BMTC not following that model.

Like I have pointed out here, the very 'raison d'etre' of perpetuating the PSU's (more particularly the monopolies, minus of course the rare exceptions), is to foster the vested interests of the various mafia confederation members that the entity is associated with. A comparatively new element that has come into play is the lobby power provided, in addition, by certain agents/ consultants under cover of think-tanks, NGO's, etc. While their role looked benign (in fact, even constructive) to begin with, as I had stated here, I am more and more beginning to have serious doubts on that aspect now.

The best and only viable remedy is healthy competition, as brought out here.

Muralidhar Rao
murali772's picture

RedBus intelligence vs KSRTC/ BMTC intelliegence

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25 users have liked.

In my post of 9th June (scroll above, to read), I had stated as below:

I have been using the RedBus system regularly, and I can see improvements in it each time I log in. - - -  I very much doubt if KSRTC's system has caught up, or it can even hope to, with the innovations incorporated by RedBus.

This gets further corroborated by this most positive and pro-active response of their CEO, Mr Prakash Sangam, to an on-line petition started by a certain Ms Rashmi Bachani for improving safety of women travelers during bus travel (accessible here).

One may ask why did RedBus have to wait till the petition was started to take all these measures. The answer to that is that they are only aggregators, and, while they may suggest many things to the operators, unless the operators feel the need to respond to the suggestions, there's not much that they can do. Even now, the way they are going to be getting the operators to take up the various measures is through a system of ratings, posted largely by the users themselves, as also various innovative uses of technology. And, that's the best way to do it, rather than through government's conventional inspector raaj (check here for more on that).

In comparison to RedBus's pro-activeness is KSRTC's and BMTC's ITS (intelligent transport system)'s, which, days/ months after inauguration, are still largely works-in-progress, for all of the tens of crores spent on them.

Muralidhar Rao

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