Wednesday, March 30, 2005

What time is the bus to office? Dial the BMTC call centre

What time is the bus to office? Dial the BMTC call centre
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Want to know what time 60A will arrive at the stop near your house? Have a grouse about an inconsiderate bus driver? How much a daily pass costs? No sweat. From April 1, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) will introduce its call centre service in the city.

In a service befitting Bangalore’s tech-city tag, passengers can use the number to enquire about bus routes, arrivals and departures. They can also use it to make suggestions and complaints about BMTC facilities or violations.

The manned service has been outsourced to Spanco Telesystems, a city-based call centre company. The operators will work in two shifts of eight hours each, so the passengers can avail the facility from 8 a.m. till midnight.

‘‘It is meant as an information-cum-complaint lodging system. There were two reasons for outsourcing the service. One is that the operators are professionals at the job -- friendly and efficient. The second is that they are impartial when it comes to taking down complaints. Earlier, people had to call our control room, which did not work very well,’’ BMTC managing director Upendra Tripathy told this website’s newspaper.

At present, the call centre number is an 8-digit one, but the corporation has applied to Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) for a four-digit number, which will be easier to remember. ‘‘We are confident that we will get the four-digit number before we begin the service on April 1,’’ Tripathy said.

BMTC is also planning to start an Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) facility for passenger queries. Unlike the call centre, this computerised system will offer real-time data. For example, if a bus is scheduled to arrive at a stop at 11 a.m. but is delayed, the IVRS can alert you about the time of delay. This will be GPS-based.

The BMTC plans to fit 500 buses with GPS to enable the corporation to access real time data and transfer it to those seeking information.

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