Wednesday, March 04, 2009

‘Vayu Vajra’ shelters to go high-tech

‘Vayu Vajra’ shelters to go high-tech

With the sorting out of an ad display-related row between BMTC and BBMP, real-time information panels will soon be installed in ‘Vayu Vajra’ bus shelters on the route to the international airport

SUCHITH KIDIYOOR



Users of ‘Vayu Vajra’ Volvo buses will soon get real-time information about bus arrivals, routes and travel time to the international airport, and information on flight arrivals and departures, thanks to an understanding between BMTC and BBMP. A passenger information system (PIS) was ready more than a year ago but could not be installed in bus shelters because of a row over advertisements between the bus company and the civic agency.
PIS is an electronic device that uses GPS technology to display bus-related information. BBMP had earlier denied permission to BMTC to place PIS panels in the 80 bus shelters constructed by the former on 12 routes from the city to the international airport.
Noting that PIS panels were already in place in 45 ‘Vayu Vajra’ Volvos, BMTC managing director Syed Zameer Pasha said, “BBMP has given its consent to place the system inside bus shelters on the route to BIA. Very soon, we will be installing these panels in these bus shelters for the benefit of the general public.”
BONE OF CONTENTION
Keltron (Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation Ltd), the GPS provider and PIS panel contractor for BMTC, has been given the right to display advertisements on these panels for 30 minutes in every hour.
For each bus, BMTC gets an ad revenue of Rs 16,179 annually for a period of 5 years. A BMTC official said, “Keltron is our project contractor and we have not spent anything on the project. They have a right to display advertisements on these PIS panels as it is a revenue source for them.”
BBMP, on the other hand, has an agreement with the builder of its bus shelters to allow the latter to display advertisements in these shelters for a period of five years. A civic official said, “We select the contractors through an open tender and do not spend a single paisa on the construction of the bus shelters. They contractor is entitled to display advertisements in these shelters. BBMP get an ad revenue of Rs 3 lakh annually from a single shelter.”
BMTC had earlier offered ad space in the PIS panels to BBMP but the bus shelter contractor was reportedly not in favour of the idea. While the way is now clear for the panels to be installed in the bus shelters, officials are not ready to disclose whether ad space on these panels will be shared by the two agencies.
ON THE DOT
LCD panels will display following information: Name of route, originating point and destination Arrival time at bus shelter How closely it is running to the time-table Flight arrival and departure Time to next stop Entertainment/ general information

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