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Innovation to get real time bus information
The New Indian Express - 27 Jul 2011

The bus is the ideal means of transportation for Aritra Paul. But the 21-year-old third year student of Instrumentation Engineering from the R V College of Engineering often has to wait for long to find his preferred ride and on many occasions missed them and walked the extra mile till he found the right one. This pandemonium is what sparked the idea for his new project that was the winning entry at ITC’s Classmate Ideas for India challenge.

With partners like the CIIITC Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Development, WWF-India, Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Janaagraha, Akshaya Patra Foundation and the likes, the programme encouraged young minds from India to come out and present problems and suggest solutions for them.

According to the judges, ‘the five winning ideas were the ones that had the power, the reach, the scope and the vision, that they were looking for, measured in terms of their merit, feasibility, originality and impact.’ As a big reward, Paul, along with the winners from four other cities from India were sent to the US on a study tour for eight days.

There is no real time information about BMTC buses in Bangalore — that’s the prevailing problem in Paul’s observation.

His project aims at developing a public transport information system that will provide commuters ‘real time’ details of buses plying within the city, including bus number, destination, current location and forecast timings. And to get the update, all they need to do is send an SMS.

After winning the challenge, Paul formed a team of students from his college to fine tune the idea and even tabled the concept with the BMTC. “They rejected it because they were on the lookout for a better revenue model. We are working on it and will talk to them again,” says Paul with conviction.

This is how the technology of will work. Every bus will have a unique ID. In many parts of the city, there will be radio frequency readers that will intercept the data as soon as the bus passes that point. The data will then be sent to the server from which the commuter can get information from, via an SMS.

“We have a long way to go. But this technology is totally feasible in a city like Bangalore,” wraps up Paul.

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