MTC helpline for commuters on the anvil
Have you ever stood at a bus stop wondering which bus to take to reach a particular destination? If the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has its way, you might soon be able to call a helpline number to get the bus number that operates on that route.
MUCH-NEEDED FACILITY: The helpline will provide information on bus routes and timings. Photo: M. Karunakaran
Talks are on between the MTC and Bharti Airtel to set up a toll-free helpline that can be used to get route and timing information. A senior MTC official told The Hindu that the helpline would function like a call centre and any information about routes and stages where a particular bus will halt and information on timings will be available through the service.
The 3,270 buses that form the MTC’s operational fleet ply on 300-odd routes. It is not easy for a person to know about each and every one of the routes.
“With greater information access, there is a possibility of more people shifting from private to public transport options,” said the official. Information centres and a toll-free helpline are part of the guidelines under the bus procurement scheme of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The city procured nearly 1,000 buses under the scheme in 2009.
With regard to a printed route timetable, an MTC official said that it was not practical to stick to a set timetable due to various constraints.