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BEST buses could soon be a great way to travel

Do you get nightmares that you have missed your bus stop because the BEST conductor did not bother alerting you?Relax.

mumbai Updated: Jun 02, 2010 01:06 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent

Do you get nightmares that you have missed your bus stop because the BEST conductor did not bother alerting you?
Relax. Soon buses run by the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) undertaking, like fancy buses in foreign countries and new railway coaches in Mumbai, may have a system that announces the next stop.

You may soon be able to catch live news updates while travelling.

LCD screens in BEST buses will soon a new channel, ‘I-Mumbai TV’, which will also give commuters tips on eating right and tell them what their stars are up to.

The channel will also have regular updates on job opportunities.

But this will happen only if the BEST committee approves. The committee is currently sulking because it feels slighted, and has put these plans on hold.

The BEST had, in 2009, tied up with Equifone Solutions Limited for installing bluetooth-enabled systems in all BEST buses.

BEST had given advertising rights in the buses to Equifone. Equifone has, in turn, tied up with Realtime Interactive for content.

BEST Committee Chairman, Sanjay Potnis, has called it a breach of contract.

“How could a private company (Realtime) go ahead and announce such plans in BEST buses without the committee being aware of it? We will not allow such plans to materialise,” he said.

Anil Peswani, director, Equifone, however, said the plans were just a preview. “We have already asked BEST for a formal approval.”

About 120 of the BEST buses have the bluetooth-enabled system installed. Kaushik Tanna, co-founder, Realtime Intereactive, said, “We realised that the average Mumbaiite spends more time travelling than reading newspapers or watching television.

That’s where the idea of Transit media came up.”

The channel also plans to offer ringtones, images and film trivia that can be downloaded by a bluetooth-enabled cell phone at no extra cost.

First Published: Jun 02, 2010 01:05 IST