MTC Chennai (Metropolitan Transport Corporation) transports about 50 lakh people, yes 5 million people everyday! With such a huge number of commuters using the service, there is no clear updated source to get the Schedule of MTC Bus Routes. The frequent changes to the route numbers is also not updated into a central IT system. The main reason for needing such an app to be able to live track the location of local MTC Buses. With this background we have made a compilation of the best MTC Mobile and Web Apps.
This compilation is based on:
- Level of update
- Frequency of update of route schedule
- Accuracy of data
- User interface
- Offline access
- Bilingual (i.e in English & Tamil)
- Other functionality.
Not all MTC Bus Apps are available for iOS (i.e for Apple devices like iPhone, iPad etc…) Most apps are available for android devices only.
We tested about 20 apps and are listing only 5 for ease of decision. Having said this Google Playstore is filled with tons of apps listing MTC routes etc…
Live Tracking of MTC Buses: MTC buses do not have a GPS, hence live tracking facility is not available. Also if MTC cancels any bus, this is not updated in in any IT system. So irrespective of the app this is short coming as fast as MTC bus tracking in concerned.
Google Maps MTC Bus App
The Google Maps Go – for Directions, Traffic & Transport is the best android / iOS MTC Bus App out there for MTC Bus Routes and Tracking. The app has integrated planned schedules of local buses.
- Available for both android and iOS
- Google’s legendary update and fixes for a wide variety of android devices makes it a very stable choice for Chennai users.
- Great User Interface (UI)
- Supports all the languages supported by google including Tamil – This is a huge plus as many of MTC’s users need this facility. Users can search for their locations, routes and schedules in Tamil
- Allows multimodal trip planning making is easier to plan door to door trips
- Fairly good updates of schedules
- Schedules updated once in 90 days only
It is very difficult to beat google in this game as they are the only app having near-realtime access to the traffic condition of Chennai city. Additionally this app in the only app that gives a proper Door – Door direction. For commuters who are new to Chennai, people would need directions to even get to the Bus Stop. The Google App gives you turn by turn directions to reach the bus station.
Another popular MTC Bus App for android is MTC Bus Route. The app has more than 5 lakh downloads at the time writing this article.
- Sincere attempt
- Offline Mode Available
- App is last updated in Jan 2019
- Not available in Tamil
- Schedules are not updated (Which is not the fault of the developer)
The other MTC Bus App that has our score is Moovit: Bus Times, Train Times & Live Updates. The mobile app is popular among transit users as it allows from seamless transfer between cities.
- App is available for both android and iOS
- Good Support
- Frequent releases
- Schedule data maybe upto 90 days old
- Not available in Tamil
Live Tracking: Unlike claimed by many websites and mobile apps, MTC buses do not have a tracking device or GPS installed in them. So it is currently not possible to track them in realtime. One of the few apps we have seen that can do this is the crowdsourced Chennai MTC Info. We find that this App is extremely innovative. In a city where the bus movement is not available in realtime, such app’s are great. But the level of usage of this app is very limited at the moment going by the download numbers. So the reliability of data is a challenge. However, if this information is overlaid on Google app it would be a great information for the Commuter.
Locating the Position of MTC buses has been an active consideration by MTC for a longtime. In 2008, MTC was one of the first few bus corporation in India to have a tracking system in place. The only challenge was that the bus tracking was limited to 500 buses. This led to incomplete coverage. Instead of scaling the implementation, the STU decided to close the project.
Currently MTC is likely to implement tracking solution via various projects like Nirbhaya, LAMP and Transport Corporation Modernisation project. With 3.5 million trips generated everyday any attempt to create a MTC Bus Tracking app is likely to have huge success.