The passenger information system (PIS) project, initiated to keep an eye on the movement of the Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) buses, has not been able to provide practical information as expected.

Once the software is installed in all the buses, commuters can access real-time information about the movement of buses while standing at a bus stop. File pic
Once the software is installed in all the buses, commuters can access real-time information about the movement of buses while standing at a bus stop. File pic

Out of the 4,200 buses on roads, the PIS software is currently in 1,700 buses, and is operational in only 1,386. As a result, the software shows inaccurate information at times, it shows the next bus will arrive in two hours, which is clearly incorrect.

The undertaking decided to start the project with the intent to let commuters know the status and location of a particular bus on the desired route while waiting at a bus stop. The information can be received via SMS, by going on the website (www.bestpic.in) or by installing the mobile application.

The PIS, with the help of the software, tracks the movements of buses via satellite, giving more or less a precise location of the buses.

However, according to officials from the BEST, the project has been moving at a snail’s pace, and with the software set up in only one-third of the buses, there is usually inadequate information given to passengers.

“As the PIS shows location of only those buses with the software, it is possible that the information provided will be inaccurate,” said an official from the BEST.

Therefore, while a bus might arrive in the next couple of minutes, the app shows a one-hour gap. However, officials are hopeful that once more buses get the software, the PIS can soon be used to provide real-time information.

On an average, about 100 buses are being fitted with the software every three weeks. Presently, air-conditioned and corridor bus routes have been covered. Inside the buses, the two screens that are used to display advertisements, also display the names of the next bus stop.

Officialspeak
A Tamboli, chief spokesperson of BEST, said, “The project has been taken up by the agency, BEST TV, who are working on installing the PIS.”