BENGALURU: The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is on the road to building its own data analytics centre aimed at improving the agency's services, as well as to consult with other respective state transport corporations to improve theirs. V Ponnuraj, MD, BMTC, told CE, “If you look at our systems department, there are around 10 to 15 people. In a previous board meeting, we got approval for an additional 32 posts. Of this, five to 10 will be hired as highly skilled manpower. Presently, what we are trying to do is clean up our existing data, which will go on for another month or two.”
BMTC is working with institutes such as IIIT-B and IISc on the same. These institutes have given preliminary ideas on the need for rationalisation of data. “Unfortunately, using big data for analysis still has a long way to go. The reason is that traffic data, especially in Bengaluru, is highly dynamic. Every month, the average speed comes down, and the scheduled time given is not sufficient for buses to cover a particular distance. As a result, buses run late.”
He further highlights the need for this rationalisation to be automated. “Traffic is only going to keep increasing, and within six months, our schedules will once again be off the mark. We need course correction to be a continuous activity,” he adds.
Ponnuraj says that the BMTC has done some studies based on their own data. “Out of around 6,000 buses, we are doing a rationalisation of running time and schedules of around 3,000 buses. We have done rationalisation for around 2,000 buses, and it will take us another month to complete the rationalisation of the other 1,000 buses. We have spent around three months doing this. With big data we could have done the same work in 10 to 15 days,” adds Ponnuraj.
IISc and IIIT-B have also done some studies based on BMTC's data. “All this is, however, not going to happen in one day. Bengaluru is not a small town — if the same data rationalisation had to be done somewhere like Mysuru and Dharawad, it would have been a cakewalk. Big data can help us in restructuring our transport infrastructure. We want to set up some kind of consultancy that can also help KSRTC and other state operations.”