This post was written by me on 23 July 2015 on my blog when the idea of Smart Cities was initiated by Hon'ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In the overall realization of Smart City concept, the Urban bodies/ Corporations, have to think of improving the quality of its public transport services. Hence, in order to lessen the waiting time of the passengers of BRTS (Bus Rapid Transit System) at the bus-stand, a mobile app (and a website) has been thought of. This App will inform the passengers as to how far away a particular BRTS bus is from a specific station at a specific time. The user will feed only codes or name of bus number, destination station and the direction (up or down).
There are three solutions for data-capturing:
Make use of GPS and Google Maps Technology, or
The conductor of the bus will send at each station an SMS with information in codes. System will continue to update the status, or
Every bus will be fitted with an RFID tag, which, with the passage of bus from every bus stand, will broadcast the status of bus and which shall be captured by an antenna fitted at every BRTS bus stand.
My idea is for the third option.
The RFID antennas at every BRTS bus-stands all across the city, nay, country, in future, would be able to talk to any system designed for monitoring of many behavioral patterns of services of urban Corporations in Smart City, setting an instance of use of Internet of Things. Further, every bus and bus-stand under BRTS will have an electronic ID, and a good database allowing management of fleet of buses and further of citizen awareness through mobile sms in case of any traffic congestion or cancellation of buses on certain route. This might facilitate in some way or other the management of implementation of JNNURM. Since, it provides all information to the user on his mobile as to the route of each and every bus on BRTS of not only his city but of all cities of India wherever my system is working; the addressable size of target market is beyond expectation. It will provide the information like the Indian Railway's National Train Enquiry System does. On account of the fact that people don't like to waste their precious time in waiting for the bus, the growth prospects are exponentially huge coupled with high possibility of jobs creation in every BRTS city in India. Further, on the line of 'MakeInIndia" concept, this should provide a huge opportunity for Indian ESDM industry and thus contribute towards reducing the India's trade deficit on one hand, and making India a big economy by 2020 on the other.
The solution has a revenue model too. A reasonable cost to every retrieval of information by commuters/ users can be fixed (will vary from city to city) which shall be payable by the concerned urban Corporation/ urban body, which in turn shall be recouped by them by enhancing the cost of bus ticket only a little, or by charging a cess on very small rate on property tax. In order to build the standards of revenue generation, and looking at the large number of customers, the implementation should start from Delhi in phase-wise or route-wise manner.