App for PBS to be launched tomorrow

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Sindh Transport & Mass Transit Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon has announced that a mobile app for the Peoples Bus Service (PBS) will be launched on November 30, while the intelligent transport system (ITS) will also be activated in all the buses of the service.

Memon chaired a meeting about the bus service at his office on Thursday. National Radio & Telecommunication Corporation Project Director Sohaib Shafiq and Sindh Mass Transit Authority (SMTA) Managing Director Capt (retd) Altaf Hussain Sario were also present on the occasion.

The minister was briefed on the operation of the bus service, its new routes, the ITS and the establishment of a command & control room. He said the mobile app will facilitate citizens in tracking buses in real time and make payments online, while CCTV cameras, screens, live tracking and monitoring facilities will be activated with the installation of the ITS in the buses. He also said a command & control room for the bus service is being established at the office of the SMTA, adding that they are endeavouring to provide the maximum facilities to the people under the bus service.Sario explained that the app will have three main features. He said the app will provide general information like the routes of different buses, their timings and their fares. He remarked that the second feature will help track the buses. “The commuter will know where the next bus is and when it is expected to reach the stop,” he said, adding that the commuter will also know about the last bus to reach the stop.

The third feature, according to him, will help the people pay through the app, including paying through a QR code. He said people can buy a card and activate it through the app. He pointed out that the online payment feature will be activated in December, but the rest of the two features will start functioning by November.

Presiding over a meeting last month, Memon had said that the demand for the bus service is on the rise. “We have to improve the service with overloading to be discouraged as there are many complaints being received in this regard,” he noted.

The minister had directed the Sindh Mass Transit Authority to form a monitoring team, which would be mandated to report on various issues, including timely departure of buses and overloading.

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