The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has launched a mobile app to track and fix buses in the hope that it will bring down the number of breakdowns. The app, which will cut down on paperwork and help the corporation monitor the ‘history’ of a bus, is on trial at depot 3 in Shantinagar where staff are currently being trained to use it.
Officials said it will help drivers escalate technical snags when a vehicle breaks down on the road. “This way, mechanical staff at the depot, who have access to the app, can immediately go to the spot to fix the problem or depute mechanics from the nearest depot,” said an official.
It is not only on the road that this app — christened ‘defect management’ — will come handy. Drivers can use it to report problems they’ve had with a bus when they return to the depot after a trip. Reporting a problem in a bus is a tedious process, as a driver has to manually fill in forms and submit the paperwork to the department concerned.
Asha, a supervisor at the depot, who is also training the staff, said, “We started training people on how to use the app on Monday. This is a new system and drivers are interested. Raising issues has become easy. They can select one of the options (technical problems) displayed, like engine issues, problem in brake or faulty electrical switch. After selecting the option, the official concerned will assign the work to a mechanical staff, depending on the nature of repair work.”
Everything logged on the app
According to officials, once mechanical staff is assigned the work, they will take a picture of the parts that need to be repaired. When the repair work is completed, another photo will be taken and uploaded on the app as an ‘after’ picture.
When the bus is deemed fit to run on the road again, the supervisory officer will give his approval and the driver will be allowed to take the bus out from the depot. All this will be logged on the app, which will have information in both English and Kannada.
The depot has staff strength of 1,091, a majority of whom are drivers and technical staff.
BMTC Managing Director V. Ponnuraj said the mobile app has been introduced to keep buses in good condition and avoid breakdowns. “In future, we will maintain a complete history of a bus, like issues raised by drivers, how many times has it been repaired. As it is being done for the first time, it may take time to train the staff in all the depots. Our objective of introducing this project is to run good buses on the roads,” he said, adding that the breakdown of BMTC buses has reduced over the years.