Passenger buses to get intelligent transport systems and CCTVs
By: Staff Writer
Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka is to install intelligent transport systems and CCTVs in private buses to prevent the growing incidents of vices, abuse of female passengers, arrogant behaviour of conductors, transport ministry sources said.
Another is to reduce cost and time incurred to execute manual process of Bus operations monitoring and schedule update to provide a reliable system to track buses with GPS coordinates and speed and other parameters as required To improve efficiency and accuracy of transportation services.
The private bus sector in Sri Lanka consists of 19,000 vehicles, which are independently owned, mostly by single-vehicle Owners. There is a very low level of collective organizational or operational capacity.
The National Transport Commission (NTC) regulates tariffs and service standards island-wide and regulates permits for inter-provincial bus routes. Raising standards and monitoring compliance are key functions.
NTC has already successfully launched the implementation of Electronic Ticket Machines, currently deployed on over half the Sri Lankan bus fleet.
NTC achieved this through a combination of mandating their use, preparing specifications, giving type approval to suitable suppliers, and allowing Operators to directly purchase approved models of their choice.
NTC has launched an ITS pilot project on inter-provincial bus services, involving about 70 buses. The core application is automatic provision of location data to the NTC Control Centre using GPS and GPRS units.
A similar approach to ETMs has been used whereby NTC prepared the technical specifications and invited suppliers to test compliant devices.
7 suppliers have installed compliant systems. Many have exceeded the baseline requirement and installed additional functionality including fuel monitoring, driver alarms, speeding alerts, in-vehicle image capture.
Subject to successful pilot phase, NTC intends to make ITS installation mandatory as part of the Permit conditions, and to make permanent their Control Centre for monitoring route and service quality compliance.
A Parliament Committee has decided to make it mandatory to install CCTV cameras in passenger buses. The decision has been taken by the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Energy & Transport, which met in Parliament recently.
Committee Chairman Nalaka Bandara Kottegoda has also directed the officials to make it mandatory to have GPS technology when issuing route permits to passenger buses.
Police officers who were present at the meeting stressed the need to have CCTV cameras in passenger buses and accordingly, the Committee Chairman instructed the officials to take steps to install CCTV cameras in buses.
It was also revealed by the Committee that most of the Expressways in Sri Lanka were loss-making at present and that loss-making Expressways are being maintained by the profits of the profitable Expressways.
The Chairman instructed the officials to initiate an efficient method to pay tolls at all Expressways using a QR code.