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Chennai goes hi-tech, gets GPS-enabled bus service

Mar 10, 2009 10:17 AM IST India India

Chennai: Bus travel just went high-tech in India’s southern cultural capital. Every bus stop in the city will soon have a Global Positioning System or GPS, a vending machine, a public telephone, a cell-phone charging outlet, ceiling fans and security guards. The administration hopes to get the set up installed within six months next.

“I think it's a very nice idea and all the bus stops in Tamil Nadu should become like this,” said a commuter.

“If there are more such bus shelters in Chennai, this city will be totally different,” said another commuter who was happy about the comfort factor.

There are many though, who ask as to why a bus service should have a GPS system.

The first gain, explain the people running it, will be that one will have an exact idea of how soon the next bus will arrive.

If any bus suffers a break-down or is over-speeding, or even if it decides to take a detour on another route, the fleet managers will know immediately.

Apart from all these features, these bus-stops might soon have surveillance cameras, FM radio, water vending machine and an ATM machine.

With 500 more such bus-stops coming up in the city before September, the management has a request to make to the commuters.

“My only request to the passengers is to please support us in this. If they help us in maintaining this and promise not to allow damages to come about, we can give them more such features. It is public property and since a lot of people will be using it, we will need all the support we can get,” said the managing Director of Metro Multimedia, D Muralidharan.

The only fears are that a few months down the line, the hi-tech gadgetry may not work well or may get vandalised and abandoned like many other ambitious government projects.