Linux on Mumbai City Buses

Via a the Chennai ILUG mailing list, here’s an interesting story: Linux rides pillion on Mumbai city buses. I like how this system uses GPS to figure the cost of each trip, rather than alternatives such as a single fare or complicated fare schemes.

Deployed in January 2007, the system is so stable that it will this month be officially extended to part of Mumbai’s suburban railways as well. It is also secure, and has had no hacks and cracks, according to Kaizen.

Thanks to the system’s use of Linux, BEST saved about inr 1.2 million on the point of sale infrastructure alone, as compared with a Microsoft Windows setup, Goriani says.

It’s also slightly reassuring to see they’re moved from telnet to SSH for remote management.

Sydney recently canned a smartcard-based bus ticketing system after spending AUD$95 million. Given that the same company was developing both systems (as well as the system for Singapore), and that such systems are fairly commonplace in modern cities, I think you could reasonably surmise that the problems in the Sydney system were not technical.