What type of technologies were you looking at when you came to TrafficInfraTech Expo? Could you find them?
We came looking for various IT solutions like solutions for improving management and punctuality of our buses, vehicle tracking systems, RFID for bus bay systems, systems/ technology for women safety, etc., that could be introduced in our buses. I could find some solutions from this exhibition. I found a few firms for vehicle tracking systems that would suit our requirement, and there were companies providing IT and CCTV solutions. Specifically, for our better management needs, there were firms that had solutions for vehicle scheduling. So, it was a very informative and thought provoking exhibition. We found some initiatives that we may tweak to suit our plans. We definitely got leads from visiting the Expo and we intend to implement some of the technologies.
You must be facing many challenges in a humongous city like Mumbai where the floating as well as resident population has crossed limits. So what can be cited as MSRTC’s achievements against such a backdrop, and what are your challenges?
Specifically for Mumbai city there is another organization called BEST but definitely we are running the buses in the rest of the MMRDA area. I think the main challenge is to communicate to the passengers the timing of the arrival of the next bus and the exact time it would reach the destination. People expect from us the information about the exact bus timings, both in the city as well as the mofussil areas. The vehicle tracking system which we are proposing includes the passenger information system. The information can be relayed either through the app or through displays at the bus stations. This technology will have a very positive impact on our passengers and we are sure to receive a very good response on it. That is what we are picking from this exhibition also and planning to implement.
What next initiatives of MSRTC can we look forward to?
In the near future, we are coming out with automated solutions like ERPs, vehicle tracking system, crew scheduling and vehicle scheduling system. These are IT based. Our bus stations will have CCTV cameras, and we are also planning to have CCTV cameras within the buses for the safety of women. So these solutions are in process.
Often, it is the metropolitan cities that get the best technologies. Will you cater to the rural needs too?
The implementation will be all over Maharashtra because our main customers/ passengers are in the rural areas. So, that is our prime focus and we will give them the best facilities which are available.