Of course, it wasn?t very easy to straight away decide and implement the project given the various challenges the traffic scene in Mysore poses. The challenges faced during the design and implementation process were: Introduction of ITS in KSRTC for the first time; Lack of domain knowledge & dependence on consultants; Multi-level monitoring, co-ordination and correspondences; World bank procurement practices ? Goods and Services, Consultancy Services; Financial Management; Infrastructural Assistance ? Bus Shelters and Central Control Station; Acceptance of the new introductions by bus drivers since they will be under severe scrutiny; Meeting commuter expectations ? Real-time PIS Display, SMS queries, Commuter friendly website, Help Desk Management, etc.; Synchronising Technology and Consulting domains; and Establishing Scope Clarity. There were other challenges too. Like there were gaps between the functional and technical requirements like the PIS Display Boards. Also, the finalising of the requirements for the project to the detail required like GPS screens and IT screens was not easy. Other challenges included integration with existing in-bus equipments, multiple types of buses which increased installation complexity, multiple types of bus shelters which increased PIS Board installation complexity, freezing Geo-Fence points especially when there is no bus shelter and finalisation of the Route Information.
Unique features of Mysore?s ITS Project
- Full fledged SMS – 98700 11012 and IVRS -1 800 425 5220
- Passenger Friendly Commuter Website ? http://mitra.ksrtc.in in English and Kannada
- Capacity Development ? Exposure to KSRTC officers and staff for handling Project Management professionally
- An independent Monitoring and Evaluation Consultancy to track the reach of the project objectives to public
- Decision enabling MIS Reports
- Multi-functioning of Central Control Station
- Instructions Manual for Crew and Staff
- High-end Video-Wall with GIS Map
- Two way communication between driver in bus and Central Control Station
However, the benefits of implementing the ITS project far outdo the challenges. The most important benefits are real-time information for passengers, reduction in waiting time for passengers, increase in patronage to Public Transport System, reduction in traffic congestion, improvement in efficiency of traffic operations, improvement in environmental quality, reduction in fuel consumption, and improvement in economic activity. Implementing this project was also a learning curve for KSRTC. Not only did it get acquainted with the World Bank procedures, but also learnt about a number of issues including Identification and Construction of bus shelters; Ensuring power supply at bus shelters; Placement of Consultancy Services in time; Exposure to the crew about the system in advance; Location and designing of CCS; Adopting practical approach for the Budgeting of project components; Learning the value of detailed implementation plan and in-depth documentation; Practical approach to installations, Software development, processes and solutions; Constant field visits and continuous improvements; and Attention to all details and synergic efforts in resolving issues.
KSRTC has selected four agencies for the effective implementation of the project. While M/s CMC Limited is the project implementation vendor, M/s. IBI Group, Canada is the Project Management Consultant for assisting KSRTC in the effective implementation of the project. An extensive Monitoring and Evaluation programme is procured to examine the implementation phase, the system & service performance, and the longer-term impacts. M/s Intercontinental Consultants and Technocrats Pvt. Ltd, in joint venture with Kimley Horn Consulting & Engineering, is the Monitoring and Evaluation agency, for monitoring the project implementation through audit and evaluating the outcome and impact assessment. Apart from these three, KSRTC is in the final stages of procuring Comprehensive Services and Operational Analysis (CSOA) Consultancy for consulting agency. The thrust of CSOA project is to study and understand the existing operations, and suggest in evolving a new operations model for KSRTC. The objectives for engaging consultants would be to improve the efficiency of KSRTC network and increase the attractiveness of KSRTC services to current and potential new passengers. The task would be to design an Optimal Public Transport (PT) network, improve performance of routes, increase the usage of public transport by citizens and make the solutions acceptable to different stakeholders.
With the implementation of ITS Project, KSRTC intends to improve its capability in managing the entire public transport system in Mysore efficiently and safely. It strives to be more commuter and environment friendly. The key stakeholders are the travelling public, the operative staff of KSRTC (involved in efficiently running the buses as per schedule with well maintained buses and meeting the quality of international standards), the management of KSRTC and various eco-system partners such as suppliers of various resources and components required for efficient running of the KSRTC services, insurance companies, environmentalists and other transport users in the city as two-wheeler / four wheeler users, etc.
The ITS project at Mysore has provided a boost to KSRTC in implementing technology based solutions to improve the passenger experience and increase operational efficiency. KSRTC is now in the process of implementing Vehicle Tracking and Monitoring System on the lines of ITS project at Mysore City, covering its 4000 express and long-route buses.