In recent years, the public transport system has become quite dynamic. The performance, effectiveness, and quality of transport system processes rely hugely on the factors affecting the vehicle’s daily transportation work. Information has emerged as an asset for all modern public transport operators that want to ameliorate their computerization infrastructure and enhance customer services. In the said backdrop, Intelligent Transport System (ITS) emerges as a complete solution. The need of accurate, comprehensive information and that too deliver in a timely manner can be fulfilled by ITS. By adopting ITS, transport operators are enabled to faster information communication, timely information provision, and an e?ective decision-making process.
The transportation system like vehicles, roads, traffic lights, etc. are made intelligent by integrating them with microchips and sensors , resulting in communication of the said systems with each other via wireless technologies. In most of the countries across the world like USA, China, Japan, France, etc. ITS has proven out to be a key driver in bringing remarkable improvement in transportation system performance by curbing congestion, enhancing safety and traveller convenience. Different technologies such as the network, GPS, display systems and Information systems are integrated for ITS deployment and thereby leading to fulfill key success factors in the public transport system. LED based GPS driven destination boards are deployed in the bus/train to keep updating the waiting passengers about the destination and route of the bus/train.
The tracking system equipped in the buses/trains calculates the positions from the GPS receiver and transfers the data to the main server via GPRS interface for collecting information on the time of buses/trains arrival at different bus stops/stations. The integration of GPS and GIS system enables the transmit of time/route information into the GIS app which can be accessed via website by the passengers for checking the bus/train route maps etc.
Passenger information systems are also an integral part of ITS. The deployment of passenger information systems in railways helps in improvising passenger services, wherein systems offers passengers with information before and during the journey, reservation and payment systems, luggage management and management of connections between trains and with other modes of transport.
When it comes to buses, passenger information systems offers real-time information to passengers waiting at bus stops with real-time displays indicating the time in minutes about the next bus arrival. Besides this the operator can send an information message to the display if any traffic disturbances are found. The core objectives of deploying Intelligent Transport System include: minimizing waiting time and uncertainty, boosting the accessibility of the system, increasing the safety of users,facilitate timely management of incidents/accidents, curbing the fuel consumption and emissions, cutting down the operational costs, improvising traffic efficiency, curing traffic congestion and developing instant two-way interaction facility between driver and bus/ train control station.
In India, many cities have started deploying ITS that includes Chennai, Mysore, Bengaluru,etc. The initiative of ITS deployment in Indian states points out the government keenness to improve the public transport and profitability of public operators with projects like JNNURM,which supports commuter convenience. In a recent development, India has sought Canada’s help to implement the intelligent transport system in a large scale all across the country. Indian highways minister CPJoshi and his Canadian counterpart Denis Label has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Canada. The MoU will be a key driver in sharing and exchange of knowledge and technical expertise in the areas ITS infrastructure development, operation and deployment. Despite their ever growing technical possibilities and remarkable benefit-cost counts, many nations are reluctant to invest in ITS. The main challenges in the deployment of ITS in India are: budget limitation, poor road network, lack of awareness amongst users, etc. In order to achieve significant improvement in transportation system performance, ITS must be treated as a critical component by the government. If India does not exploit the advantages of ITS as a part of the next step towards revolutionzing the transport systems, then the country would not only fall behind other developed economies in ITS, but also lose ground to alarming issues like traffic congestion, high accident ratios, etc.