Commuters of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking (CTU) buses will soon have the facility to know the estimated time of arrival (ETA) of buses to their destination at the bus queue shelters.
Chandigarh, along with three other cities of Bhopal, Jaipur and Mira-Bhayandar, has been selected for a pilot project by the World Bank where the city bus services will be modernised. For the execution of the project, the World Bank has sanctioned around Rs. 15 crore.
Transport director TPS Phoolka told HT that electronic displays with intelligent transport system (ITS) would be installed at a total of around 250 bus queue shelters spread across the city, which would run the ETAs of all buses touching the bus shelters.
"The commuters will be able to access the services in two ways — by using SMS facility and interactive voice response system (IVRS)," said Phoolka.
He further said the CTU had invited tenders for setting up the new system for the benefit of commuters.
Besides introduction of ITS, the project also includes modernisation of depot equipment for improved maintenance and life of buses and management information system (MIS), making the services more user-friendly and for improving planning and management of operations to enable optimal use of resources.
Last year, the union ministry of urban development had sanctioned 400 buses for Chandigarh under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) on conditions such as formation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and installation of intelligent transport system (ITS). At present, 315 buses ply on different routes within the city, connecting it with SAS Nagar and Panchkula, carrying 1.5 lakh passengers on daily basis. The CTU has a sanctioned fleet of 517 buses and has purchased 219 new mid-size buses.
The administration also intends to set up over 60 new bus queue shelters. Recently, a survey was conducted by the engineering department which highlighted that around 94 existing bus queue shelters are in a bad shape and around 20 of them need to be demolished.
"Work to construct the new bus queue shelters will start very shortly," said Phoolka.
Similar attempt in 2009
The CTU had planned to introduce similar system in 100 buses and 50 bus queue shelters in 2009, but nothing materialised. While the facility was never introduced, the CTU went ahead and uploaded information on the official website of the Chandigarh administration (www.chandigarh.gov.in) claiming that the estimated time of arrival service has been introduced, thus misleading the city residents.