Tracking tool to ‘rein in’ city buses

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By PANKAJ SARMA
  • Published 7.10.13
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Guwahati, Oct. 6: The transport department is planning to use a global positioning system (GPS)-based tracking facility to streamline the public transport service here.

Dwijen Das, secretary of the Kamrup Regional Transport Authority, told The Telegraph that the department has submitted a proposal for installation of a GPS-enabled technology on commercial passenger vehicles, including city buses, to keep track of their movement in order to improve the public transport system.

“Installing the GPS facility will help efficiently manage city buses and other public transport vehicles in the city,” he said.

The department recently submitted the proposal estimated to be over Rs 100 crore to the newly constituted Assam Infrastructure Financing Authority for its approval.

The Assam Electronics Development Corporation Limited (Amtron) has prepared the proposal.

Chief minister Tarun Gogoi, who also holds the finance portfolio, has earmarked Rs 2,500 crore in the budget to enable the authority to take up major and critical infrastructure projects whose costs are Rs 50 crore and above.

Das said they have proposed to install the system in all public transport vehicles here, including buses (both government and private), trekkers and autorickshaws.

“The GPS-based tracking system will provide real-time information about the exact location of the bus, the route taken, stop violations like spending more time at certain stops and skipping some designated stops, bypassing routes with fewer passengers and preferring routes with high passenger density to get more revenue, unauthorised stops, among others,” he said.

“A control room with a 24-hour call centre will be set up where large screens will display the location of buses and other public transport vehicles,” he added.

The tracking system will also help to get information about accidents, breakdowns and other things of public transport vehicles.

“With this system, we can easily detect if any bus plies outside their permit area to earn extra bucks. For instance, if a bus has a permit to ply on the city outskirts but it is plying within the city, then it could be detected with the help of the GPS facility and appropriate action taken immediately,” Das said.

There have been allegations of violation of traffic rules and permit conditions by city buses and trekkers like over-speeding, overloading, reckless driving and others.

The proposed system is also expected to redress some of the grievances of the people. A person died while some others were seriously wounded when an over-speeding private city bus overturned after hitting the road divider on the busy GS Road on September 18. According to witnesses, the accident had happened owing to reckless driving.

There are around 14,000-15,000 public transport vehicles, including around 750 buses, plying in the city.