BENGALURU: Having taken over as the managing director of the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), Rajender Kumar Kataria, has made pathbreaking initiatives. Although he credits his predecessors for the success, his staunch belief in people-friendly conveyance and futuristic ideas have begun to show results. Speaking to City Express he shared a few of the policy initiatives that were launched during his tenure as well as some other initiatives that have the transport service about 22 awards in one year of his tenure.
What are major policy initiatives taken up by KSRTC in the last one year?
We have come out with many policies to streamline functions and operations. The infrastructure policy is one. Previously, there was no system in place where there need-based assessment was possible. With the infrastructure policy, depending on the place, we have laid out frameworks for the size of the depot, facilities to be provided, amount to be designated, etc. It becomes a model for future applications.
Similarly, for the work force, which includes 1, 25,000 people of all four corporations, we have come out with a transfer policy where discretionary element is minimal.
Also noteworthy is the fly-bus initiative. We have extended the fly bus services to Mysore, Kundapur, and Manipal. We are also in talks with a service for Coimbatore. It is a first-of-its-kind initiative which connects the airport with another city. With the fly bus service, we are offering end-to-end solutions and the initiative evidences that the public transport is being treated quite akin to the hospitality industry.
Tell us about any green initiative taken up by the corporation.
We are the first to launch a green vehicle to check buses causing air and noise pollution. The vehicle, named ‘Prakruthi’ is equipped with a smoke-testing meter and would travel to 15 districts for checking emission levels of KSRTC buses. Recent one is Bio Bus, buses running with 20% bio-diesel mix.
Can you elaborate on the ITS in Mysore?
The objective of the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) is to increase the number of commuters in KSRTC Mysore, improve traffic safety, relieve traffic congestion, improve transportation efficiency, increase the energy efficiency, and promote the development of related industries. It offers real time monitoring and tracking of buses and help reduce road congestion and other transport issues. ITS solution provides dynamic passenger information system (PIS) based on Geographical Positioning System (GPS) and applies advanced display and communication technologies, Central Control Station (CCS) and intelligent display boards. It also improves passenger safety, fleet efficiency, services and traffic situation through transmission of real time information.
Benefits for passengers include increased accessibility of the system, safety of users, display and announcement of current and next stop details inside the bus, display of expected time of arrival (ETA) of next bus on the bus stop display boards, real time bus information through SMS and IVRS facility and reduction in waiting time and uncertainty and improve in overall bus service reliability.
What is an ideal public transportation model that you would want to introduce?
We can look at city service with a dedicated bus corridor. It will only help attract the public to use public transport. Bengaluru is an ideal city for such a corridor, and if smart cities have to become a reality, then smart mobility is a must.