Monday, January 18, 2010

Airport bus service gets more commuter-friendly

Airport bus service gets more commuter-friendly

Anil Kumar Sastry
BMTC introduces passenger information system on Vayu Vajra routes
The system provides route-wise fare and timings

SMS to be sent to passengers who call the helpline



One-stop hop: The panel at the airport terminal gives exhaustive information on bus routes and fares.
BANGALORE: Once you disembark and enter the Bengaluru International Airport terminal, you may be pardoned if you wonder you already are in the departure lounge thanks to the huge LCD panel displaying departure schedules.

Look closer and you realise the LCD screen displays the departure timings of the Vayu Vajra (airport special) services of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), part of its pilot project to offer real-time passenger information of buses to and from the airport.

BMTC has installed similar LED panels that announce the arrival of Vayu Vajra coaches at bus shelters across the city.

Full marks
Having earned praise for its airport service, the BMTC decided to add value to attract more commuters and began working with the State-owned Keonics to provide information, BMTC Managing Director Syed Zameer Pasha told The Hindu.

Vayu Vajra coaches, fitted with Global Positioning System (GPS), are connected to the BMTC control room, which in turn transmits the information to the display system.

Apart from the LCD panel at the airport, LED boards have been installed at Mehkri Circle, Rajamahal Guttahalli, Corporation, Bangalore Club, Marathalli, Basaveshwara Circle, Malleswaram 18th Cross, Shanthinagar and Jayanagar 4th Block.

The LCD panel at the airport terminal displays departure time of buses on various routes from the airport to the city, vehicle number scheduled for the route; destination (last stop), any change in schedule and the BMTC contact number for enquiry.

The system provides route-wise fare structure, and all information was in English and Kannada. Mr. Pasha said the system was capable of providing social messages to the public. Once the system stabilises, passengers could get information via SMS about arrival of buses, said K.N. Ingalagi, Chief Manager (MIS). For BMTC, the GPS will help track buses, checking whether drivers speed or have skipped any stop.

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