Mapping Bus Routes in Chennai.
Did you know that close to 73% of chennai-ites take the bus as their primary mode of transport? The Chennai Metro Transport System has about 540+ routes, a hundred or more extension routes and I believe a fleet of 2000+ buses. There are 200 new buses coming in every month, as the old ones are being slowly taken out of service.
If you have seen the scrolling LEDs and the fancy new volvos, thats the face of the chennai transport system. Pretty slick I must say.
I had personally met the new Cheif Operating Officer sometime back and he is quite a fabulous guy. I have a good sense of feeling that the new volvos that are rolling, the ticketing machines and all, are just the beginning of what Chennai will see.
During our conversation with the COO, we finally reached the main reason why I had gone to meet him. A friend of mine, Arun Ganesh, has a fabulous interest in wanting to map the bus routes of the city so that the 73%, along with the new folks who come to the city can know which route will take them to which part of the city.
The unfortunate part is that there is no digital data available with the chennai transport department on this. One suggestion was to go talk to the drivers and conductors with a map and get the routes drawn on a blank chennai map. Hmm… 540 routes+ in that methodology is definitely going to take its time. But I think its an effort worth the time, and something that the city and the office will greatly benefit from.
I know I am proud to see the strides that the public transport is making and the uplift that it provides to the city, and I would love to do more to enhance that. I wish that we could get some GPS loggers and if people who do travel certain routes could contribute, we could have the data required in less than a months’ time. This will be the first time a city in India would have a schematic map. Anyone game?
If so, leave your name and contact details as a comment.