Travel Assistance from IISc Team Aids Navigation in Mumbai

Dr Ashish Verma, a professor at the Civil Engineering Department of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), and his team, have announced that they have launched a mapping and trip planner to help travellers in Mumbai, India.

Verma said that the tool would do away with the problems associated with having to ask for directions, especially for those not fluent in the local language. The tool is called Maargamitra, and it is a sponsored project that the team has been working on for close to two years.

The project called for the mapping of Mumbai’s public transportation system. The work is ongoing and when the mapping is complete, travellers using the service will be able to travel safely using their digital devices. The plan is to offer seamless integration, in which all transport options such as Volvo buses, metro trains and regular buses would be considered.

Verma said, ‘For now the website will consider only Volvo, Big 10 and Metro Reach 1 options. One of our major challenges was gathering data about the regular routes and schedules of BMTC buses, which are not with the BMTC themselves. We will soon add all routes. While the front end application is Google Maps, we have our own systems in the back end which crunch all the numbers.’

Maargamitra works on Google Chrome and Internet Explorer browsers. Using it, travellers can see a list of bus route numbers and fares and also highlight a route on Google Maps on the screen.

Verma said that the team is trying to work to add more cities to the software in the near future.