The Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) has launched the MSRTC Passengers App, a smartphone application that gives commuters the real-time position of buses on the road.
According to an official, the system uses a ‘Vehicle Tracking System’ (VTS) that has previously been deployed for internal usage in all of MSRTC’s 18,000 buses. The VTS application, on the other hand, is only operational in Nashik division buses and Shivneri buses that operate between Mumbai and Pune. In the following days, it will be enabled in the remaining buses.
MSRTC Mobile Reservation is another application being developed by the company to allow passengers to monitor their buses. The two apps, as per the official, would allow commuters to view real-time bus positions on their phones, as well as information such as the nearest bus stop, bus depot and routes. A SOS service will also be available in case of an emergency.
MSRTC is the only transportation organisation in the country, according to the corporation, that is working on such a large-scale project. Given its scope and technicality, the project is being hailed as a first-of-its-kind in the public transportation sector, since it would provide passengers with a plethora of amenities.
The position of all main and small bus stops will also be presented on a map using a GPS system, according to their latitude and longitude. The app may also be used to schedule trips and provide comments on bus transportation services.
At the corporation’s headquarters in Mumbai, a Central Control Room with screens has been put up to track the real-time whereabouts of buses. Bus information, such as vehicle speed, arrival and departure times and management, can all be tracked in this room.
‘Using the mobile application, passengers will now also know the actual arrival and departure time of ST buses. Similarly, screens have been set up at the bus stops to show the real-time arrival and departure of buses for commuters who don’t have the mobile application. This will enable passengers to plan ahead and save time,’ said an MSRTC official.