Given Abhishek’s fascination with Mumbai’s BEST buses, one of the games we have started to play is “bus-spotting.” The goal is to look for a bus and then be the first to state its two endpoints. Abhishek invariably wins at this game!

This game has made me realise the breadth and depth of the BEST bus network in the city.  In the next few years, I hope they also equip each bus with a GPS device and then can broadcast the expected time of arrival of the next bus to the bus stops. The route network itself could be made much more efficient – I see some routes with quite some overlap in buses. Many a time, there is also bunching of buses on the same route – that too could be streamlined with real-time availability of information.

Back to Abhishek and his bus-spotting. At home, he has 7-8 buses (toys) that he now runs on imaginary routes. All of this has already helped him have a better sense of Mumbai’s geography than his mom!

4 thoughts on “Bus-spotting

  1. People who are new to the city often get confused with the “number” system of BEST buses.

    There can be a sms service where you sms the route number and receive list of stops on the route. Or specify start and end point of journey and get applicable route numbers.

  2. Rajesh, this feature has been implemented in Bengaluru already. Several bus stops have been chosen for this. There’s a LED display panel at these stops that broadcast the arrival times in real-time.

  3. “GPS device and then can broadcast the expected time of arrival of the next bus to the bus stops.”

    Lets see. Even if the bus is 1 km away, given our road conditions, it will not be possible to predict at what time the bus will arrive. the algorithm is really complicated. even past data will not help. I mean, just bcos last Monday it took10 minutes .. u know the rest. randomness rules.

  4. There was such a project listed on BEST website sometime ago. I do not know whether they are doing a pilot of that or not