ICE on Wheels lets you browse en route to airport

Passengers travelling to the Bengaluru International Airport from ITPL will soon find they never have to go ‘offline'. The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation's Vayu Vajra bus service, which ferries people to the airport and back, is soon set to provide entertainment and Internet consoles attached to the back of every seat.

The initiative called, ICE (Information, Communication and Entertainment) on Wheels, was launched by Transport Minister R. Ashok who inaugurated the first bus outside the Vidhana Soudha here on Thursday. The BMTC will soon float tenders to initiate this project. Mr. Ashok said that 200 such buses would ply to the airport once the project was completed. Notably, passengers will not be charged extra for these services.

Customer response

This bus will ply between ITPL and the airport for about a month to gauge passenger response. Besides browsing the Internet, software packages will enable passengers to easily keep track of flight information, book tickets and even do an online check-in during their commute.

Integrating such ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) and PIS (Passenger Information System) will increase passenger comfort and get more people to switch to public transport, BMTC officials said.

How does it work?

A majority of the seats on the Vayu Vajra bus will be fitted with a seven-inch touch-screen at the back, except for those right at the back. This tablet-like PC, developed by Bangalore-based tech firm EAFT Technologies for this pilot project, will allow you to browse the Internet while on the move by connecting to a Wi-Fi network through central servers remotely controlled by the firm.

It also offers a wide range of software applications to engage commuters on their long commute. These include popular applications such as daily horoscope, live stock exchange news and weather information. Jai Shiv, Director, EAFT Technologies, said: “People who travel to the airport spend close to an hour in the bus. Why not provide them with entertainment and access to information while they are commuting?” The firm has developed more than 70 applications that are bundled with these devices.

Keywords: BMTCinternet access