Monday, March 12, 2007

Want to know where your bus is? SMS `Yelli Iddira'

When techies and tech companies have gone hi-tech in India's Silicon Valley, why should BMTC be left behind? A first of its kind in India, BMTC has started a revolutionary SMS initiative called YI to track Volvo bus where about. YI is a short form for "Yelli Iddira" which translates into "Where are you?" and you can ask this of the Volvo buses v356C and v335E by sending an SMS. And you will get an instant reply of the whereabouts of the bus.

Currently, the service is available on two Volvo routes — V356C between Kempe Gowda Bus Station(KBS) and Electronic City(EC) and V335E between KBS and Kadugudi via ITPL. To avail oneself of the facility,one has to send an SMS from the mobile phone in the following manner — YI Volvo Route Number U or D to 9945634666. For example, YI 356C U to 9945634666.

But there is one problem. There is one 356C plying out of KBS every 20-30min. And the total journey time from KBS to EC is around one to one-and-a-half hours depending on the traffic on 356C's bus route. Bus Routes info can be found here: ಕನ್ನಡ and English. If you SMS YI 356C at, say, 9.30am, the bus which started from KBS @8am would have almost reached EC, the one started @8.30am would be near Madiwala/Silk Board, the one which left @9am would be near Wilson Garden/Dairy Circle whereas another would just have left KBS @9.30. Whereas the SMS should give info regarding all the 4 buses, it gives the whereabouts of only one bus. So the yardstick for deciding which bus will be included in the SMS is not clear. The same happened to me one day. I SMSed @9.40am from Madiwala and the SMS said v356C is near Wilson Garden, and lo! another bus is in Madiwala( much to my delight!!).

All in all, a truly commendable initiative by BMTC and hope it will be extended to all the other volvo buses soon. And who knows, we may also be able to know where our regular BMTC bus is, in not so distant future!!!

Your comments/thoughts are welcome.

Information regarding the firm that developed this software can be found here.

Related Links:
Nidhi's Article on Volvo
Volvo Bus Routes |ವೋಲ್ವೊ ಬಸ್ ಮಾಹಿತಿ| The Hindu Article
For more Info Regarding the SMS Alert: YI


Shrinidhi Hande said...

Good thing is you send msg to a 10 digit number which costs only a local SMS cost. Had it been a value added service (a 4 digit number like 8888) seach SMS would have costed more...

ideally it should take your current location, destination and return the location of nearest bus..

Tanu said...

Hey good Information...for people like us who travel by Volvo frequently. But today morning itself I tried the service and got to know that now the sms shows you all the two - three locations where the buses are at that moment. Its like suppose at this time one of the bus is reaching Electronic City and other one has started from Majestic, so the message will reply you something like this - "Near Electronic City;Near Majestic" specifying both locations.
Really a good facility launched by BMTC!!

Supreetha said...

Shrinidhi: Yes, since it's a regular phone no, it costs less as compared to VAS. Taking every passenger's current location as input and giving out the nearest bus location will be little difficult but not impossible. Maybe they'll incorporate that too in the future..

Tanu: Thanks! I think they have added the info recently. Anyways, good for us!!

Vishal Jalan said...

hmmm :D