Soon, estimated arrival time will be displayed at bus stops in Mumbai

These display boards will also show the BEST bus route number and the final destination of the bus

A Mumbaikar often spends a lot of time waiting for a bus operated by Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST). Now the BEST Undertaking is working on a system to place digital boards at bus stops, which will display the status of bus routes near it. This way, Mumbaikars will at least know how long they have to wait for their ride.

Also Read: BEST and CR lock horns over new bus stations

For people waiting for buses at bus stops, the wait will get more informative, says BEST. File pic
For people waiting for buses at bus stops, the wait will get more informative, says BEST. File pic

According to BEST officials, they are looking at creating digital display boards that will be installed on the bus stops. Initially, they will be on vital stops where frequency of buses is high. These display boards will show the bus route number, the final destination of the bus and expected arrival time.

Read Story: BEST, Railways and MMRDA plan seamless connectivity with dedicated bus stops at metro stations

“Congestion on roads is the major problem which is resulting in buses arriving late at bus stops. We are working on installing display boards which will show the expected time for a bus to arrive on that route at that bus stop. This will at least help people to know the precise time the bus might take and anticipate the location of the bus at that point of time,” said Jagdish Patil, General Manager, BEST Undertaking.

A GPS will be fitted inside buses for this. The satellites will then beam the location of a bus onto the nearest stop where that bus is to halt on that route. This will be displayed on the digital board. Apart from this there will also be a device at the driver’s seat, on which the driver needs to register the bus route before he starts, so that it connects with all the bus stops on that route.

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Sources said that this system is presently used in few cities like Dubai. It shows the expected time of arrival of that bus and even mentions the last bus stop that it has crossed. Presently people wait for 10 minutes or so for their bus to arrive. Every day around 30 lakh passengers use the buses, which had dropped to 27 lakh a couple of months ago.

“Three to four different buses arrive at bus stops at the same time making it all the more congested. Each bus barely manages to cover 190 kms in a day due to the heavy traffic on road,” said another BEST official.

Bus lanes
The BEST is already working with the authorities like MMRDA and BMC to create dedicated bus lanes. At least six different routes have been identified by them and permissions for creating such dedicated lanes have been granted and they are being made at Bandra Kurla Complex and Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road.

“This is the only way that buses can become punctual as bus speed will increase,” said the BEST official. The average bus speed is less than 15 kmph. A 3.5 metre kerb side bus lane for BEST buses has been created between MTNL Junction and Kalanagar.

BEST buses now take as long as 45 minutes to cover the 3.5 km distance from the MTNL office to Kalanagar Junction. In August, a dedicated bus lane was inaugurated by BEST on an experimental basis from the National Sports Complex (NSC) in Worli to Haji Ali.

SMS to know about bus arrivals
>> There are around 6000 bus stops in Mumbai

>> An SMS facility was created this year, that was supposed to show the exact time a bus would arrive at a bus stop, after sending a SMS

>> This, however failed as people hardly knew about it, or they wouldn’t use this facility

27 lakh
Number of people who travel by bus every day in Mumbai

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