Mumbai: BEST's tracking app loses track of its buses

Updated: Jan 22, 2020, 07:57 IST | Rajendra B Aklekar | Mumbai

Commuters claim the app is a half-hearted, unreliable effort as the buses never arrive as per the expected time mentioned

The app showed a 181route bus to arrive at the bus stop, but a 310 route bus arrived followed by a Tejaswini
The app showed a 181route bus to arrive at the bus stop, but a 310 route bus arrived followed by a Tejaswini

Three months after the BEST launched its live-bus tracking application, the app has failed to impress its commuters. The travellers have claimed the app is a half-hearted, unreliable effort as the buses never arrive as per the Expected Time of Arrival (ETA).

Commuters have said that there is still huge scope for improvement and that the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation app — NMMT BusTracker — is far better.

The BEST made huge promises of a live-tracking app to Mumbaikars after BMC Commissioner Praveen Pardeshi sanctioned funds to bail out its debt-ridden transport undertaking. However, within just 90 days of its launch, the app has failed to fulfill its basic function.

"The app is a dampener. It cheats commuters. A bus of a different route comes before the expected one and leads to major confusion. Also, it has a very bad interface and consumes a lot of time to look for the ETA as it is mentioned in one corner of the screen. Also, the average journey time is shown as being more than the ETA," Raj Arya, a commuter using the app said.

Harshad Joshi, who was on the beta-testing group of the app said the BEST chowkies need to make proper entries, failing which buses won't be visible on the app.

"An entry has to be made when the bus starts from Point A and again when it reaches its destination. Proper training needs to be given to the staff regarding the handling of devices and systems. All this is not happening, leading to the collapse of the live-tracker."

Hands-on experience
mid-day also had hands-on experience with the app to understand the problem. While waiting at the BKC Telephone Exchange bus stop, a 181route bus was expected at 12.26 pm, however, what arrived was 310 route bus followed by a Tejaswini.

"There is no point working on the app in a half-hearted manner. Either have a fully-functional app or do not have one," another commuter said.

BEST General Manager Surendra Bagade said the app was being updated continuously. "Send me all the suggestions about the app and we will consider them. The app is always being updated," he told mid-day.

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