Conductors to carry GPRS-enabled ETMs
The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has started keeping tabs on its fleet and collection of each schedule and that of depots on real-time basis with General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)-enabled Electronic Ticketing Machines (ETMs) carried by the conductors.
The supply of 2,000 new-generation ETMs in the Thiruvananthapuram zone of the transport utility has been completed.
With this, the corporation is in possession of information such as number of tickets sold between bus stops, frequency of the service, and running time of the buses operating from the 21 depots in the zone.Training for ATOsTraining has been provided to Assistant Transport Officers (ATOs), who have been entrusted with the task of monitoring the services at the depot level.
The bus crew have started rising to the occasion after some were pulled up for bunching of services and tailing parallel services when the training of the ATOs was on.
“We have provided another 300 ETMs across the State till date. The remaining 1700 ETMs will be supplied to the other four zones — Kollam, Ernakulam, Thrissur and Kozhikode — to complete the project by June,” a top official of the KSRTC told The Hindu here.
The ETMs feed a wealth of information to allow effective planning of schedules and cater to the needs of commuters.
As real-time data transfer takes place from the ETMs directly to the control room, the authorities can keep tabs on the collection of each schedule at the zonal level and at the control room too.
The authorities can text messages to the ETMs that are equipped with the SIM of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. The mobile number of the crew is fed into the system so that they can be contacted in case of emergency or to pass on information while the bus is running.
The new ETMs were initially used on the Pampa-Nilakkal chain services during the last Mandala-Makaravilakku season at Sabarimala to check operational efficiency and overcome teething problems.
The facility will help avoid bunching of services and trip curtailment. Each ETM, supplied by a Bangalore-based firm, costs Rs.9,500, and the corporation has spent Rs.3.8 crore from the Plan fund for replacing the old ones, which are over five years’ old.
The introduction of the ETMs is part of a technology upgrade being worked out to streamline services and tide over financial crises.