Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Making public transport popular

Making public transport popular

Three final-year students of NID have developed a model to promote mass transit

Arunima Rajan. Bangalore

To encourage more and more people to use the public transport system in the city, students of National Institute of Design (NID), R&D campus, Bangalore, have come up with a unique model, which if approved, is likely to benefit commuters.
For instance, if you are planning to take a Volvo bus of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to the Bengaluru International Airport from your home, or vice versa, all you will have to do is to send an SMS to the service centre about the destination and the boarding point as well your preferred mode of transport (metro/BMTC).
The commuter will then receive an SMS that will have information on the schedule of buses on the route, travel duration and fare. You could also book tickets online and the money will be deducted from the balance of your cell phone currency.
Three final year students of NID have developed this model, which is aimed at encouraging the commuters to use mass transit modes. The project, 'Information Mobility for Bangalore Public Transit', includes various provisions to improve the visibility and accessibility of public transport system.
The students want to incorporate information about both the metro as well as BMTC timings in their model. In addition to it, the students have designed kiosks and digital signages to give real time information about the BMTC.
According to the students, this system will also considerably reduce the ticket trash.
"The digital ticket will reduce the paper trash. The hand-held device used by the conductor will be extended by a digital reader, which will automatically read the code. It will help the BMTC to document details about the commuter and can be helpful in building a database," said Prachi Desai, a III semester student of Information and Interface Design.
The students took around three months to finish this academic project. They collected information from the transport systems of other cities like London.
"We travelled around 500 kilometers for project research. We visited the four BMTC main depots, second-level depots, BangaloreOne centres and Jayanagar Traffic and Transit Management Centre (TTMC) also. The timetables and booklets of other countries were used as reference material," said Vaibhav Sharma, a III semester student.
The students claimed that their research showed that many commuters do not know about the facilities available to them. "The ticket rates in non-IT routes of Vayu Vajra and Volvo are lesser than that of IT routes. However, many people think that Volvo buses are expensive and stay away from them," Prachi Desai said.
The students have also identified the access points where information can be disseminated. The list includes malls, gardens, transit junctions and the metro.


At Wednesday, November 25, 2009 at 1:11:00 AM GMT+5:30, Blogger Manisha Sharma said...

The study, as presented in the news brief, sounds very promising, has a lot of vision and, to me, subtly touches on the bigger and vital issues today, like global warming and the rich-poor gap that has been strangling the Indian identity for decades, maybe even centuries. Today's young minds are the answers to the questions we have been grappling with.
Kudos, guys! well done!!

Manisha Sharma
Blacksburg, VA, USA


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