Information And Communication Technology For Smart Bus Shelter

Technology Principal, TCEL, Chennai

An intelligent transportation system (ITS) is an advanced application of ICT in the transport sector providing ‘Smarter’ methods to make travel a more safer & coordinated experience to the public. It involves advanced networking technologies, thereby interfacing with other applications such as traffic management, Parking management etc. to provide amenities at the transit stations.

Smart Bus Shelter initiative has enhanced public transportation management services by using the GPS & GSM based technologies.

The system consists of three modules

a) Bus module

b) Bus Shelter module

c)  Command Control Centre (CCC) Module

Bus Module:

The Bus is equipped with GPS facility. An integrated unit comprising of GPS Receiver and GPRS/GSM data transmission functionality are housed inside the bus. GPS calculates the location coordinates and transmits the same to the server in CCC via the GPRS or GSM. This data is received in real time at the respective bus station, which is dynamically updated on the LED screen and relayed through speakers. Additional information such as the arrival time, route, destination, fare, bus loading condition etc. are also available.

Bus Shelter Module:

LED Screens

The data is sent to the bus shelter module via GSM and displays the bus position on the LED screen.

Generally, two (2) nos LED Screens are proposed at the Bus shelter. The size of the LED panels may vary depending on the type of shelter.

The first LED screen has an In-built light sensor which controls the brightness and the intensity of the display based on ambient light conditions. It displays the transit information such as the Vehicle location, “NEXT BUS” information, route and the arrival time to the bus station.

The second LED screen will display advertisements which are revenue-generating opportunities.The LED screen will be provided with a GSM facility for real time advertisements.

The interactive advertising methods being adopted in public spaces tend to capture the attention of the audience and are found to be effective in attracting customers. In smart bus shelters, the screen is activated with motion detectors and the information displayed is based on time & location. Such a facility is beneficial to the outdoor media companies that rely heavily on advertisements in public spaces, adding value to different stakeholders from different perspectives ie commuters.

Air Quality Monitoring: Spatially distributed autonomous sensors monitor certain environmental conditions such as temperature, motion, humidity, etc. The sensors are connected to the switches located in the enclosure for further communication.

Security Cameras: Each Bus shelter shall be equipped with one (1) no. robust IP Bullet Camera with infrared and one (1) no. IP dome camera. The mounting of the cameras must be suitably chosen to provide full coverage of the bus shelter inside & outside. The cameras, requiring electrical and network connections, are mounted on structures such as the light poles.

The bullet camera can be mounted on a structure facing the downstream side of the bus shelter, for surveillance of the incoming bus & surroundings. The dome camera can be mounted on the ceiling inside the bus shelter. The Network Video Recorder (NVR) will be housed in the Command Control Centre.

Automatic Ticket Vending Machine (ATVM)

Presently, the bus fares are either paid in cash or pre-printed ticket. However, smart cards are being proposed by many transit agencies to reduce cash handling. The validity of the smart cards is checked when the customer boards the bus.

The ATVM is located inside the bus shelter at one side and is provided in all shelters.

Digital Public Address Systems:  Digital public address systems with features such as paging, background music, transit announcements, or emergency announcements are provided to announce the arrival & departure of buses. Speakers are mounted on the inner side of the roof or on the side pole to cater to announcements for the visually impaired.

WiFi:  Many commuters and students use their laptops, tablets & mobiles while they are waiting for the bus to arrive. The Wifi hot spot will enable them to work and also receive the transit information directly on their wireless devices.

USB port: Each bus shelter can have 2 or 3 USB ports on either sides & back of the bus shelter.

Panic Push button:1 No. Panic push button housed below the LED display inside the bus shelter.

Power Supply: It can be either solar or public. If solar, in this case power supply is generated from solar panels placed on the top and are supported by batteries for maintaining uninterrupted power supply.

Communications Enclosures and Equipment: Networking equipment such as routers, modems, switches & power supplies need to be housed in an enclosure. The enclosure should be secure, constructed of Stainless steel for corrosion resistance and located out of range of irrigation overspraying. It should ensure to provide enough maintenance space for the technician to work with the doors open.

Command Control Centre

The connectivity with the CCC is summarised in the below table:

S.No. Solution Connectivity with CCC
1 Variable message display at bus stop (Interactive & Information Display LED Screens) IP connectivity via smart box like raspberry PI box. Smart box will be connectivity to field switch in Communication enclosure.
2 Cameras at bus stop IP connectivity through field switch in Communication enclosure
3 Public Address system speaker – IP Speaker IP connectivity through field switch in Communication enclosure
4 Panic Push Button – IP based IP connectivity through field switch in Communication enclosure.
5 Mobile charging No connectivity to ICCC. There will be one board with multiple ports of USB.
6 Wifi Access point IP connectivity through field switch in Communication enclosure
7 Field switch will be housed in Communication Enclosure equipment Field switch in Enclosure is connected to ICCC  through service provider like BSNL/AIRTEL/Other



TE:  Temperature Element

HDR: Humidity Transmitter

Proximity: Movement Sensor

CCTV: Closed Circuit TeleVision

CCC: Command Control Center

POE: Power Over Ethernet


  • C.Sailaja is Technology Principal at Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd, Chennai. She has 30 years of experience. Her Domain knowledge is in Basic & Detail engineering of Instrumentation & Control systems for Chemical & Petrochemical projects, Industrial & Infrastructure projects and Nuclear power projects.

C Sailaja

C.Sailaja is Technology Principal at Tata Consulting Engineers Ltd, Chennai. She has 30 years of experience. Her Domain knowledge is in Basic & Detail engineering of Instrumentation & Control systems for Chemical & Petrochemical projects, Industrial & Infrastructure projects and Nuclear power projects.

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