We the undersigned are very happy to learn of the launch of Pune’s Open Data Portal, the first of its kind for a city in India. This is very much following in the spirit of the Right to Information and the Central government’s efforts to make public data as open as possible, through its recent policies National Data Sharing Accessibility Policy (2012), the Draft National Geospatial Policy (2016) Draft Open Data Use License (2016) and the data.gov.in platform. We congratulate this most progressive effort of you and your team from the Pune Municipal Corporation.
Mumbai and its sister cities/municipalities run several public transportations agencies making it a little complex to have a single policy towards transport in the greater mumbai area.
Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) is the major agency directly under the state government of maharastra working on infrastructure development. MMRDA governs a wide range of municipal areas near mumbai to simplify governance in the region. The jurisdiction of MMRDA has been recently challenged in the court
MMRDA largest project on transport is the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP) with assistance from the world bank. MUTP-2A is on the works to further improve transportation needs of the city. The World Bank reports of MUTP and MUTP-2A have updated status and other historic information related to these projects in all aspects.
Indian Railways being playing an important role in Mumbai has its own divisions to look into the operations and development of the suburban transport. Mumbai Railway Vikas Corporation Limited is the primary agency established to implement MUTP. Their report on suburban travel patterns is a must read to understand mumbai transport.
Several railway passenger associations exist in Mumbai which represent themselves through the suburban railway users consultative committee of railways. The committee has official representatives from railways, BMC, other municipalities, apart from commuters. BEST also has committees on similar lines.
As mentioned earlier, the sheer number of agencies makes it complicated to track individuals policies and ongoings. BEST, METRO are two other main agencies to look into.
Data & IT Systems:
Suburban railways were the first adopt IT systems for operations and announcements in stations. Most Railway stations currently have LED boards displaying information about arrivals of trains with platform information, type of train (slow/fast). This was followed by railways bringing in smart cards and electronic ticket vending machines for cashless ticketing in early 2000's.
Suburban timetables are separately published by both central railways and western railways on their websites and as books (hard to source). Most trains actually run to these scheduled timings with some exceptions displayed through LED sign boards.
In late 2004, a smart card called "Go-card" was introduced to work on both BEST & Railways to facilitate easier transfers. The card failed due to lack of quality equipment and several other reasons. But this was the first interoperable smart card which would work on two agencies. Ministry of Urban Development has been working on a inter-operable mobility card since 2010 and have finally agreed on the standards in March-2016. BMTC is the only agency to adopt it by far on paper.
BEST later transitioned from paper tickets to electronic ticketing machines to improve ticketing administration. This generates a ton of internal data for BEST about commuter Origin-Destination patterns and ticket sales over each route.
BEST has sold its advertising contract to a company called Verve Compusoft Systems, which telecasts ads on BEST buses. The firm also has some rights or agreement on installing GPS units in the buses to provide realtime information. They run the passenger information website http://bestpis.in/. This is being rebranded as their ITS system with an android application supposed to be launched this part of the year.
The ChaloBEST project was designed to crowdsource all these bus routes of BEST to provide information to the general public. It adopted the GTFS standard for inter-operability and has data of both suburban trains and BEST.
Department of Civil Engineering, IIT Bombay launched transittripplanner.co.in for a brief period by buying GPS data from BEST/verversoft (from anecdotes and no other evidence exists).
Industrial Design Center, IIT Bombay had previously worked on transit maps for suburban trains. The work is documented here & here . The maps were sold for a brief period at Filter and on amazon.
Everyone in Mumbai is in a hurry and would kill to reach his destination on time. The lack of availability of information for such a city is a disaster in its own way. The number of agencies operating services makes it complicated too. In terms of the fares, Mumbai has some of the cheapest price per kilometer. The accessibility across the city is high due to the mass transport at the heart, but the density makes it hard for people with disabilities to fit in certain systems. The travels within the city and around the area are high and can be mainly accounted for high real-estate prices and economic activity within mumbai compared to the suburbs in the east.