The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is one step closer to make its city bus services more reliable. The corporation is all set to launch a mobile app next week that will provide real-time information on its bus services. However, after a delay of over one-and-a-half years, the corporation now promises passengers a mobile app worth downloading and using on a daily basis.

Speaking to Bangalore Mirror, MD of BMTC Ekroop Caur, said, “The chief minister (Siddaramaiah) will inaugurate the event, in which various facilities under the intelligent transport system project will be launched. Though the BMTC has launched a mobile app in the past, it only gave out static information. Now passengers will have real-time information on city buses with the new app. Initially, information on 700 to 1000 buses will be made available, but in a few weeks, all 6400 buses will be covered.”

BMTC maintains that the app has been designed to help regular passengers as well as those new to public transport in the city. The app will help people locate their position on the map, the nearest bus stops, routes being plied through the stops, the estimated time of arrival, etc. The BMTC will also install passenger information systems at major bus stops like Majestic, TTMCs and at Kempegowda International Airport.

The BMTC first introduced an app in September 2014, but it received a lukewarm response from the public. People who downloaded the app termed it as outdated, compared with mobile apps from Uber, Ola and other taxi aggregators, not updated for a long time, no information on alternate apps and not providing real-time information.

An official with the BMTC, said, “Providing real-time information on city bus services will make it more reliable. The mobile app will enable passengers to plan trips; providing estimated times of arrival on buses and providing access on the movement of buses will help people in a big way.”

To start with, the BMTC will launch the app on Android. Other platforms will be made available later. Non-smartphone users can call BMTC’s 24×7 call centres to get real-time information on buses, fare details and other information. Close to 52 lakh people use the city bus services and even if 30 to 40% of them start downloading and using the mobile app, there will be immense great pressure on BMTC to ramp up its infrastructure.