But now with KSRTC all set to hop onto the IT for productivity bandwagon, such a situation is set to be a thing of the past. And with the new Driver Compliance system that Bangalore-based MobiApps is implementing, the state owned transport corporation will be wiring up their buses with a hardware and software solution - a variant of MobiApps m-trak GSM/GPS mobile track and trace solution - that will literally map the bus route right through its entire path, and better still furnish reports on the exact number of stops, the load it carried and even any unexpected stops in between for a period of an entire week!
While initially 50 buses will be equipped with the units, plans are being worked out to extend it to almost 1000 buses within the next two to three years.
Speaking to eFE, MobiApps India director sales and marketing Satish Kulkarni said KSRTC was particularly looking for a suitable driver compliance solution to meet three key objectives - to improve the vehicle utilisation rate, increase passenger pick-up and increase revenue as a direct effect of the first two. Very often it had no way to verify whether a bus was servicing its route effectively. This IT solution/product will help it solve this problem, Mr Kulkarni said.
Though this solution is not a real-time one (it will not track the bus while it is on the roads), the relevant data will be stored in the device and uploaded onto the software base solution/system placed at the KSRTC bus depot at the end of the day.
This data will then be automatically analysed by the software installed by MobiApps which will in turn generate a trip report/summary based on the data collected form each bus for the entire week.
Incidentally, each bus fitted with a unit will be tracked and analysed individually.
What is interesting in this whole exercise is that the corporation will have control over its buses even when they are on the roads. Passengers will also be better serviced and drivers will be accountable which is the main aim of the project. Increasingly, there is a pressing need for even state-owned enterprises to use intelligent IT solutions to enhance productivity, and this is exactly about that, he added.
MobiApps which has so far been doing pilot runs for KSRTC will soon initiate the 50-unit project.
While no indications on KSRTCs investment in the project are available, it might be good to draw a comparison with a similar initiative that the BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) took a few years ago.
According to industry sources, BMTC implemented a similar solution to track its buses, installing the units across 200 buses.
While BMTC is believed to be exploring the possibility to extend this to 700 more buses, the company invested close to Rs 25 lakh for the first 200 vehicles that it wired up.