Good Governance: Providing bus schedules on SMS

Travelers on buses are normally a harried and troubled lot. Information about bus services are hard to come by, with bus schedules many times not being accurate, and it gets difficult to plan for a journey. Many times, people are found to spend hours in the bus terminal, not knowing when the next bus is available. At such times, there is a lot of cursing about why this information is not available more easily. Well, in Gujarat the Road Transport Corporation has started a free SMS service whereby travelers can get to know route information easily through an SMS:

As a pilot test, the project was taken up in a part of the state where nearly 41,000 people used the service. Three of these requests for bus services, came from phone numbers in the UK and 306 from other states in India.
Secretary, GSRTC, P D Patel claimed that the methodology for receiving information is user friendly. Service seekers have to follow a particular format and send an SMS to 9998805656.
Soon after that they will receive an SMS on their mobile phone. The SMS will incorporate timings of the first five buses. If more information is required, passengers have to send the message again. This facility is also applicable for all state and inter-state routes. Patel said that this service was free.

Such a service, if followed properly and accurately, can be a big boon to users. People opting to get information using this service will no longer have to queue up, or ask all sorts of people about schedules and maybe even get wrong information. This is a good model that other states should replicate.

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