The city bus service will get more commuter-friendly from next week.
The Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) that runs the city bus service will launch two commuter-friendly services soon: a passenger information system based on Global Positioning System (GPS) devices, and a cashless ticket purchasing service based on your bus smartcard. Both services will be introduced from August 7, observed as BEST day.
From next week, you will be able to track the bus’s position online or through SMSes. The service will mainly benefit AC bus commuters, who can also check the estimated arrival time (ETA) and the speed of the bus online, or by sending an SMS to 56060.
“All our bus stops have the codes the passenger should include in the SMS. We are also planning to launch a mobile application in three months, so that the same information can be directly accessed by the passenger through their mobiles,” said OP Gupta, BEST General Manager (GM).
Currently, passengers can access information of all AC buses but only of a few regular buses, as the GPS is installed only in 1,000 out of 4,700 civic buses. This includes the 270 AC buses in the BEST fleet.
“We plan to install the system in the rest of the buses by March 2013,” added OP Gupta, BEST general manager (GM).
Commuters will be charged a minimum Rs. 3 for the SMS.
The cashless transaction service is available only to those BEST passengers who have radio frequency identification (RFID) smart card (see box).For a week’s time, the cashless transaction service will be restricted to the 1.5 lakh RFID smart card holders who purchase the daily ticket that costs Rs40. The service will then be extended to those who hold monthly, quarterly and other passes.