Friday, December 25, 2009

BMTC's digital edge confuses passengers

BMTC's digital edge confuses passengers

The corporation recently introduced Passenger Information System which fails to give regular updates on arrivals and departures

Shwetha S. Bangalore



A fortnight after the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) installed LED displays at some of its bus shelters for the successful implementation of Passenger Information System (PIS), the pilot project seems to make little headway.
When DNA correspondent visited the bus shelters on Residency Road and Shantinagar, the LED displays were not showing information about the bus routes, vehicle numbers, service type, destination, arrival or departure timings. What kept appearing on the screen instead were the words 'Passenger Info System' on top and 'BMTC' below.
"I have been waiting for the Hebbal bus for over 30 minutes. I can see a LED screen displaying 'BMTC' and 'Passenger Information System.' Apart from these, it does not carry any details about bus timings, route or bus numbers," said Rekha Mishra, a commuter waiting on Residency Road bus stand.
"I come often to Shanthinagar bus station to catch Hebbal bus. Here a LED screen keeps repeating the arrival timings of buses even minutes after their arrival and departure timings even after their departure. So we have a problem of updates. The PIS will serve its purpose only if passengers get regular updates every minute," said Manoj Kumar, a commuter waiting at Shantinagar bus stand.
BMTC officials admitted that they are facing some teething troubles.
"We've installed LED screens in some of the bus stands. We are still in the process of updating the data related to bus timings and route numbers. PIS is working well only in Shantinagar where passengers get regular updates on buses plying to Bengaluru International Airport," said an official requesting anonymity.
"In other bus shelters, we are facing a problem as private advertisers are taking responsibility for the bus stands and are quite hesitant to allow installation of LED screens. They are neither giving us a chance to manage the bus stands nor taking the responsibility to provide electricity needed to display information on the LED screen," he said.
"However, some of the private advertisers have obliged to put up the LED screen for some months on a trail basis. Later, we have to sort out this issue created by the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike and private advertisers. Right now, some of the LED screens that are put up provide regular updates on buses plying to the airport, but not to other destinations," he said.
The installation of PIS in bus shelters as well as inside buses was a long-pending project of the BMTC.
Although it had cleared the tender of a firm, it could not go ahead with the plans due to a row over advertisements between the supplier and BBMP which constructs the bus shelters.
The BMTC plans to introduce PIS panels in 20 more bus shelters in the city.
Installation of PIS panels could help the BMTC to boost occupancy rates as passengers will have a clue about bus arrival and departure timings.

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