GIS in Public Transportation

GIS in Public Transportation


Vikas Khitha, Sanjay Govil
GIS & Digital Cartography ,Eicher Goodearth Limited, Eicher House, 12 Commercial Complex, Greater Kailash II, New Delhi 110048, India
Ph: 91 (11) 2644 5521; Fax: 91 (11) 2621 2283
E-Mail : [email protected]

Eicher Goodearth Limited is the holding company of the Eicher Group of companies with interests in the manufacture of Commercial Vehicles, Motorcycles, Tractors, Automotive Components, International Trading and Management Consulting Services.

With the release of the highly acclaimed Eicher City Map of Delhi in Dec ’95, Eicher Goodearth Limited re-defined Indian standards in map making by including details such as house numbers, locations of taxi stands, public utility offices such as electricity and water complaint offices. Details such as building names, roads, localities and landmark points, are also included.

Encouraged by the response to the Eicher City Map of Delhi, the group conducted similar digital mapping using state-of-the-art techniques and ground verification to publish map books for the other Indian metros, with due approvals from the Ministry of Defence.

The group formalised its GIS & Digital Cartography business in 2001 with approval from the Ministry of Defence to commercially licence the Eicher digital map data of Delhi.

The Transport Department of the Government of NCT of Delhi had contracted Eicher to set up a GIS system in order to:

  • Enable planning of public transportation on a GIS base.
  • Provide an information base to users.

Execution of the Project
The execution of the project was divided into phases:

  • Information consolidation onto a GIS base
  • Customisation of planning tools
  • Applications of the GIS base for commuter benefit

Information Consolidation
Under the auspices of the Transport Department, key officials of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) were a part of the core team, which executed the project. Bus stops with their attribute details were mapped by Eicher personnel onto the Eicher GIS map of Delhi.

Figure 1 depicts DTC bus routes and bus stops on the GIS map of Delhi for planning purposes

With access to information from DTC core team members and their support personnel and with reference to earlier studies conducted by a consulting organisation of repute, the team set about the task of transferring DTC bus routes in a GIS format onto the Eicher GIS.

Database tables containing the attribute information of bus stops and bus routes were then linked to the respective points in order to support querying.

Customisation of planning tools
With the consolidation of all pertinent information, Eicher then customised standard applications to include a support tool for the planning department of bus routes, wherein alternative routes between pre-selected points (bus terminals) could be obtained.

An MIS from the same enables quicker decision making based on the actual route that would be traversed and factors in the number of bus-stops serviced along the various routing options.

When overlaid with a layer defining commuter density in the various parts of the city, the same application is also expected to enable a rationalisation of bus routes from a viewpoint of profitability.

Figure 3 depicting alternative routes generated along with route directions between bus terminals

Applications of the GIS base for commuter benefit – future directions
The Government of NCT of Delhi has also taken up a few initiatives derived from applications of the GIS base for the benefit of commuters.

Depiction of bus routes on Eicher roadmaps at select bus stops
Bus shelters have significant space where large size Eicher roadmaps on outdoor vinyl media can be put up.

In addition to depicting all bus routes passing via the respective bus stop, an inset in the map also covers a four square kilometre area around the bus stop in the level of detail of building footprints and building names. Last mile directions to commuters searching for a particular building, are thus provided.

An additional vinyl sheet also provides details on bus timings and frequency, besides information on origin and destination.

A toll free number where a person commuting via Delhi’s auto-rickshaw’s and taxis can call up from a cellular or a mobile phone and confirm fares being charged for travel between two points in the city, based on the distance travelled.

Back ended by a contact centre running the Eicher GIS with an application customised to provide distances and distance – fare results, the entire time taken from query to response is expected to be within 30 seconds – the normal pulse on cellular and mobile services.

Publication of fare charts are a variant of the same application.

Web enabled map services
With inexpensive access to the Internet now commonly available, applications of bus routes and timings, distance – fare calculations and driving directions (figure 4) are indicated in the near future, backed by Eicher’s Internet mapping services.

These services are proposed to be linked to the web sites of the DTC and the Transport Department, Government of NCT of Delhi, respectively.

Figure 4, from Eicher’s Internet mapping services providing a map with driving directions between the Offices of the Transport Department, Government of NCT of Delhi & Eicher’s corporate office.

Also displayed are locations of taxi stands on the map.

The authors take this opportunity to thank all officials of the Government of NCT of Delhi for their timely guidance and facilitation during the various stages of the project, and also for permitting this paper to be published.

Our Special Thanks to

  • Ms. Sindhushree Khullar, IAS, Commissioner-cum-Secretary (Transport)
  • Mr. PC Jain, Secretary STA
  • Mr. Arun Kumar Mishra, Deputy Director (Transport Department)
  • Ms. Ranjana Deswal, Deputy Director (Transport Department)
  • Mr. Deepak Sharma, Dy. CGM (IT), DTC
  • Mr. Anuj Sinha, Sr. Manager (Traffic), DTC
  • Mr. Chander Prakash, Sr. Manager , DTC

About the authors

  • Mr. Sanjay Govil is Director – IT, GIS & Digital Cartography of Eicher Goodearth Ltd., and is also the CIO of the Eicher Group. He has significant expertise in setting up and managing large scale GIS projects on an international level, in addition to his IT experience.
  • Mr. Vikas Khitha looks after the Business Development, Marketing and Sales activities of the GIS & Digital Cartography business of Eicher Goodearth Ltd