Given that the ITS is the first of its kind in India, the project team was tasked with creating a unique model. Such a massive institutional change with no direct examples to point to required that the programme be clear, comprehensive, and targeted at a wide range of audiences. Gaining public approval was a central challenge for this programme, especially given that the BMTC is made up of 36,000 employees who are all directly impacted by the project.
The initiative can be broken down into three major components: a Vehicle Tracking System (VTS), a Passenger Information System (PIS), and an Electronic Ticketing System (ETS). The BMTC has distributed 10,000+ Electronic Ticketing Machines, fixed 6,400+ Vehicle Tracking Units, and installed a new Command & Control Center. As a result, the bus system is more predictable, user-friendly, and streamlined. Moving toward CO2 reduction, the BMTC is looking to transition to a fleet of entirely electric buses. Once reduction targets are set, the BMTC will create a clear timeline of meaningful, proactive steps toward further reduction. As of right now, the BMTC has a fleet of around 6,400 buses clocking 858,000 miles every day. At this capacity, the system reduces total CO2 emissions by 154.8 tonnes per day and annual emissions associated with the fleet by 56,670 tonnes.
The ITS is the first of its kind to be implemented in India and encourages long-term change with its potential for replication in other regions. This more efficient transportation system significantly reduces the cost of fuel even as ridership increases and, in making the buses more easily accessible, the BMTC has the potential to change the culture of public transportation in Bangalore. With tools like a mobile app which, for the first time, shows the estimate time of arrival for over 6,000 buses in real time, the BMTC serves to encourage even more people to utilise the system. The BMTC has already directly improved the quality of life for its 5.2 million daily riders representing nearly half of the City’s population of 10.58 million people, the rest of which will experience the co-benefits associated with the project.
From an institutional standpoint, the BMTC project in the long term and beyond its own scope given the Vehicle Tracking System’s capacity to produce useful data which is relevant to other organizations. In this sense, the initiative has many city-wide impacts and serves as a model to be implemented or adapted beyond Bangalore.