Route permits, schedules of private buses to be digitised by December 10

Aimed at tracking buses, installation of GPS in private buses is on in Kochi. Over 200 city buses have GPS now.   | Photo Credit: THULASI KAKKAT

The Kochi Metropolitan Transport Authority (KMTA) and the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD) have joined hands to digitise route permits and time schedules of all private buses, in order to streamline their operation, improve reliability and to rein in reckless driving.

Under this initiative, bus operators have been directed to submit their permits and time schedule for being digitised, before December 10. The C-DAC had earlier entered all relevant data regarding buses which were issued permits by Ernakulam RTO Office. Bus operators have been directed to verify data pertaining to them, before the time schedule is approved.

Only such digitised permits and time schedules that bear the government seal will have legal validity from January 1, said P.M. Shabeer, Ernakulam RTO.

Speaking about the ramifications of the digitising process, Shanavas S., the MD of KMTA, said this will help passengers have a precise idea about the location of buses in different routes. “This will help save time and plan trips better, while also helping enforcement personnel keep tab of violations like reckless driving and trip cancellations during off peak hours. It will also end overlapping of services in different routes – a reason cited for reckless driving.”

Aimed at tracking buses, an initiative to install GPS in them is already under way, with over 200 of the 600 city buses in Kochi having them.

Route rationalisation

Official sources said a study commissioned by the KMTA to rationalise bus routes in the Greater Kochi area is already under way, as part of Mobilise Your City programme. In this, an online survey was done, while a team of 40 people will collect data from bus passengers to assess demand on different routes.

Most bus operators have welcomed the digitising initiative, as a step that will help usher in reliable bus services, at a time when public transport systems are feeling the heat of people shifting to personalised modes of commute.

Calling for strong action against buses which violated permit timings and skipped trips, T.N. Pratapan, a senior citizen who commutes almost every day by buses, hoped that the digitising process will help enforcement personnel usher in accountability in the sector. “Time-punching cabins in different parts of the city are now nothing more than scarecrows. There is no certainty of trips now, with the result that even people from financially-backward sections are forced to buy two-wheelers, despite skyrocketing price of fuels,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 2:47:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/route-permits-schedules-of-private-buses-to-be-digitised-by-december-10/article37847843.ece

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