WITH A VIEW to making the public transport service more efficient, the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) has equipped its entire fleet of buses with GPS devices and started trial-run of the technology from this week.
Rajkot Rajpath Limited, a special-purpose vehicle of the RMC, operates city bus service called Rajkot Mass Transport Service (RMTS) and Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), in the city. While RMTS has a fleet of 90 buses, BRTS is served by 10 buses. All of these buses have now been fitted with global positioning system (GPS) devices.
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“GPS chips have been installed in all the buses of RMTS and BRTS and trial run began this week. The trial run will go on for a few more days before formal inauguration of the system,” said Chirag Pandya, general manager of RRL. BRTS service in Ahmedabad have such a sytem in place while state transport service provider Gujarat State Road Transport Service Corporation (GSRTC) have also installed GPC devices on boards its selected buses.
The RMC has signed a three year-long contract with High-Tecpoint Techonologies Private Limited, a Chandigarh-based private firm that provides vehicle tracking system service under brand name Balakbox Vehicle Management System. This firm has fitted city buses with GPS chips, civic officers said. These chips will beam signals to a central monitoring control-room set up at Multiactivity Centre of the RMC in Nana Mava. As per the contract, the RMC will pay Rs349 per bus per month to the private firm for its services.
“The realtime tracking system will help streamline RMTS and BRTS services. It will allow us continuous monitoring of our buses, actual time a bus takes to reach one stop to another and completing a trip on given route. Based on such information, we shall be able to know if a route needs to realign or where stops are required,” Chirag Pandya, general manager of RRL said.
Civic officers said the system will also help in overall monitoring of the public transport services. “Through GPS tracking will enable us to know if a particular bus is over-speeding or has not made a stop at designated place. This will eventually heal in redressing public grievances,” added Pandya.
Incidentally, efficient public transport services is one of the key goals identified by the RMC to turn Rajkot into a Smart City as laid down by the Union Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) and thereby become eligible to get the central government grants for development projects.