The official Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) mobile application was released in May, 2016 with much fanfare. The BMTC claimed that the app would help commuters track their buses in real time. Initial reviews by the consumers were far from positive, most complaining about the non linear user interface and buggy response. After the recent Version 2.7 update, let’s take a look at how different or better it is from the older version.
Upon opening the app, you will see the BMTC logo, with a sub-head “Easy Travel Information Planner.” The issues with the app are noticeable right from the start. On my steady 4G Airtel connection, the load screen lasted for a whole minute.
Once in, there are 4 features that this application boasts of. It can locate buses on route; it can locate buses near a specific stop; it relays information regarding buses arriving to the airport and bus stands and it can plan an entire bus trip around the city.
Let us focus on the aesthetics of the app now; it looks rather clean. The options are presented in coloured boxes. Kudos to the developers for adding an option to change the language to Kannada, as some localities might prefer that. Also, the home screen quickly notifies you if there are updates in bus routes, which may prove to be convenient to some. So far, the application seemed promising.
So I decided to test this app in real life scenario. I had to travel from Maharani College to Little Italy, Indiranagar. Google maps showed very clearly that I had to take a bus to St Martha’s Hospital Bus Stop, and take a bus from there to Domlur. But when I searched for it on the BMTC app, it had no record of any “St Martha’s” bus stop.
So I personally went and checked, and voila! The bus stop exists. Once I reached the Corporation bus stop, I decided to try the app again. But this time it did show me the desired bus stop, but also 9 other options. This application requires your GPS location, then why can’t it detect the closest location? That will remain a mystery.
Now, let’s delve into the other features. Every single time I tried to locate buses on route, the app crashed. I was unable to try that feature at all. As for as the information regarding buses arriving at airports and major bus stands is concerned, on clicking the app, it redirects you to a website with information that you could have accessed without downloading this application at all. And the trip planner part – it is shows the buses that connect two stops, but it can’t guide you to take multiple buses.
In conclusion, this application is a pain to use. I found myself going back to Google Maps for assistance every time. Not only is it incredibly buggy and slow, most features don’t work at all. It fails to provide a coherent experience and does not deliver anything new.
The application is available on Google Play Store.