What Ails Intelligent Transport System: Roadmap for modernising bus services

March 06, 2024

Over the years significant investments have been made in installation and integration of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) with the urban bus systems of the State Transport Undertakings (STUs). This Advanced Public Transit Systems (APTS), as it is commonly known, is an opportunity to improve the internal efficiency of the bus transport operations and commuter services. This provides benefits in terms of increased operational efficiency, improved journey time, reliability, safety, reduction in accidents, assistance in traffic enforcement, provision of real-time information to the public, enhancement of traffic signal efficiency, among others. 

This report has assessed how this expensive system is delivering on its intended objective and if these systems are being utilised to their optimum potential. This brings out several lessons from the ground experience to inform, reform and improve the system for effective impact to enable a roadmap for creating a national ITS platform for buses.      

This has outlined the need for reforming procurement practices around ITS to pay more attention to processes and expected outputs and outcomes from the ITS system and to develop performance metrics. Network digitization can leverage the intelligence more effectively for monitoring performance and optimizing schedules or passenger information systems. Visualization of data can improve transit schedules planning and adherence, prevent skipping of stops and passengers etc. MIS reports become actionable through data visualization and standardization of key performance indicators. 

This report has analysed available data sets from the STUs to demonstrate how better visualisation can help to reduce skipped stops, improve schedule adherence and punctuality of services, addressing bus bunching, service reliability, loading pattern that can help with route rationalisation etc. 

Similarly, several other aspects have been evaluated that include  standards/protocols for interoperability; standard operating procedures; preventing vendor lock-in and proprietary issues to improve technology services; improve market competition and innovation; and promote internal capacity building in transit agencies for effective application and improvement of bus performance and services. 

This report has asked for formation of a national ITS platform that can help to address a range of concerns outlined in this report.  This can enable peer learning, scaling of best practices across the transit agencies, training, standardisation, and improve procurement systems. This is needed to provide guidance to the transit agencies for effective utilisation..



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