Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.Arthur C. Clarke, author and inventor, 1917–

Information technology (IT) systems are an important component of high-quality BRT systems. BRT services are designed to cater to large passenger volumes and must deliver fast, accurate, and reliable services in the form of financial transactions, customer information, and operations systems. IT systems address the complexities of day-to-day operations management, reducing manpower and contributing to sizable cost savings. Over the years, the level of integration has increased so that IT now takes a system-oriented approach. IT can be leveraged to foster cooperation among the various transport modes and coordinate management of mobility systems. This chapter provides broad guidance on the planning, implementation, and operations of IT systems. For a more comprehensive guide to IT systems for BRT and bus systems, refer to the World Bank Toolkit on Intelligent Transport Systems.

Operations Monitoring
  • Ensures on-time performance by facilitating information sharing among the control center, stations, and buses;
  • Documents system operations for determining compensation for the bus operator.
  • Generates data that can be used to improve service efficiency and system performance.
Customer Information
  • In stations, the IT system informs passengers of upcoming departure times and destinations;
  • On buses, electronic displays indicate the destination;
  • In buses, the IT system informs passengers of upcoming stop names and transfer opportunities;
  • Emergency notifications.
Fare Collection
  • Records sales, payment collection, and system usage;
  • Provides opportunities to integrate fare payment mechanism across multiple transport modes.
Signal Control
  • Facilitates efficient junction management and signal priority for buses.
Fleet Management
  • Manages manpower and allocates duties;
  • Schedules maintenance.;
Surveillance Systems
  • Ensures station security.

Contributors: Giorgio Ambrosino, consultant; Brendan Finn, consultant; Christoff Krogskeepers, ITS Engineers; Pratik Dave, consultant