How frequent are Chennai MTC Bus Routes ? MetroCommute.in provides the answers !!

July 8, 2009

Not even a month old, but we are happy to see MetroCommute providing answers to a lot of Chennai commuters. Thanks for your feedback and references.

In the mean time, we have also added support for showing the frequency of the bus services on individual routes, as well as the aggregate frequency.

Apart from finding interesting trivia – like the most frequent Chennai MTC bus route as 29C (Between Perambur R.S and Besant Nagar)  –

MetroCommute.in provides you information like..

  • there is one bus every 10 minutes from Velachery to Mylapore,
  • there is one bus every 4 minutes from Velachery to Ambattur and Adyar,
  • there is one bus every 2 minutes from Velachery to Tambaram, Thiruvanmiyur and T.Nagar and that
  • there is one bus every minute from Velachery to Saidapet and Guindy.

One can also know that…

  • there is one bus every 2 minutes on ECR,
  • there is one bus every minute on OMR and that
  • there is more than one bus every minute on Anna Salai.

These facts can be known by usual commuters on those routes. But if one has to travel on a different route, they may not be sure on the frequency. MetroCommute helps people decide on “Should I wait here for a bus or should I catch some bus to a more frequent stage and switch buses there ?”

Just play with http://my.metrocommute.in to find such answers related to your locality, refer/tweet/blog about the site to your friends and as always, feel free to send in your feedback on how to improve MetroCommute.in

And now with the onset of the counselling season in Chennai, MetroCommute helps plan a better commute…

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Online Wedding Planner now supports Importing of Contacts, Template based E-mails, RSVPs and more.

June 17, 2009

Online Wedding Planner now supports Importing of Contacts, Template based E-mails, RSVPs and more.

Started Tweeting : http://twitter.com/rraj

Recent Tweets :

(rubbing hands) Incoming email support & XMPP API in AppEngine expected anytime now (at most by, June 22) http://bit.ly/1a3u5F
1:59 AM Jun 15th from web

GOOG’s Girouard : g-Docs to get much better within 12 months; will be “night & day from what they are today” http://bit.ly/3T8eL
1:51 AM Jun 15th from web

RT: @metrocommute: Commuting options (buses/trains) for apartment you plan to buy? www.placetolive.in answers with help from MetroCommute.in
6:56 PM Jun 13th from TwitterFox

RT: @placetolive: XS Real: Bella Tuscany is iPhone “class”, but we understand functional phone markets, so: http://bit.ly/iOSOX #Real-Estate
6:31 PM Jun 13th from TwitterFox

Opera to make browsers into mini web-servers ?! Refer : http://www.opera.com/freedom and http://bit.ly/859Qe #opera
3:51 AM Jun 13th from web

facebook.com/rajkumar.radhakrishnan
6:02 PM Jun 12th from web

Driving Directions supported, try http://bit.ly/I7LXj
7:50 PM Jun 10th from web


Metro Commute in Chennai using buses or trains connecting West Mambalam

June 9, 2009

Anugraha Hall details in MatrimonyPlanner has the following “Access details” property..

ROAD :

From Rajiv Gandhi Road / OMR : Take road towards Velachery, just after Naidu Hall and Sony showroom, take left to reach Anugraha Hall.

From Vijaynagar Bus Terminus in Velachery, take Taramani Road and just after Baby Nagar Bus-stop, take right for Anugraha Hall.

TRAIN :

Nearest MRTS Station : Perungudi. You may take an auto-rickshaw or walk (refer our map for details). 

And this does not even include details on how to get to Velachery (from say Tambaram / Central / Egmore / Koyambedu / etc.,.). You would have noticed that wedding cards usually have the bus routes to reach to the mandapam locality and it imperative to have better details as part of the marriage hall details in MatrimonyPlanner.

The following is Sahasvat’s attempt towards that goal..

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery/with/Central

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery/with/Koyambedu

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Velachery/with/Tambaram


MetroCommute.in

 

The details provided in the website include bus routes and train routes to localities in and around Chennai.

The website is still in beta and may need some more ironing out of details with respect to stage names of bus routes and their geo-locations. This is because the data from the MTC bus site, cannot be used as is. There can be a lot of ambiguity and some incomplete/incorrect stage names..

To give you a sample on ambiguity..

  • “Madipakkam Rd. Jn” may mean the road junction in Madipakkam or the one near Velachery MRTS.
  • “Anna Nagar” may also refer to Anna Nagar near Korukkupet or to the Anna Nagar near Vandalur.
  • “Ramapuram” may also refer to Ramapuram near Putlur.
  • “Thirumangalam” may also refer to Thirumangalam Village, near Sunguvarchathiram.
  • “Brindavan Colony” may be Brindavan Colony in Adambakkam or the one near Anna Nagar.
  • “Thandalam Village” near Thirupporur is actually Mettu Thandalam Village.

And a sample on incomplete/incorrect stage names..

  • “Andakuppam” may actually refer to Andalkuppam, near Manali and different from Andakuppam near Kundrathur. 
  • There are stage names like P135, E022, C064, K115, V085, G023, K116, etc.,.

For most errors, I would assume the reason was some sort of an auto-completion/selection being used when entering the stage-names. But I wonder why stage codes (like P135, E022, etc.,) have to be left in the routes. I guess, the first letter in codes should actually refer to the starting letter of the stage name.

The ambiguous nature of the stage names can cause route maps to have stages out of path, but easy to identify visually, when loading the route map. Once that is done, the alternate/name of the stage and its exact location can be found by zooming into the region and doing a search. This can still fail to identify the location (probably due to differences in spelling – “c” instead of “s”, an extra “e” or “h” or “l” or “t”,  “d” instead of “t” or i/y/e used interchangeably or differences in using spaces, etc.,.). In such cases one needs to switch to the hybrid view and see for settlements in that locality and then find their names.  Even this can fail as many will have just “the great abc’s home” / “xyz’s plot” kind of descriptions. For some remote locations I may have interpolated a few stage locations. A few more iterations and possibly feedback from users may be required to have even better accuracy.

Suburban train route details from Southern Railway did not have such issues.

Driving directions and call-taxi / call-auto / call-driver details will be coming up next.

Details on switching buses en-route, may not be taken up at once. It is not a trivial problem to solve and while it is easy to implement it in a simpler way, it can fail providing wrong suggestions. For example, if you search for options from Velachery to Chromepet, you will be asked to travel to Thiruvottiyur Bus Stand, in one of the existing solutions. 

“Wait, you mean there are already websites which use the MTC bus routes data.. then, why do you have to build MetroCommute.in ? How different is it from others ?” you might ask.

MetroCommute.in site is not just for MTC bus routes. Details of existing suburban train routes including MRTS, Beach-Tambaram, Tambaram-Chengelpattu, Central-Thiruvallur, Central-Arakkonam, Central-Gummidipoondi and Central-Sullurpeta lines are already part of the site. Details of Call-Taxi / Call-Auto and Call-Driver numbers, Personal driving directions, Discussion Threads on commuting options, Group Travel, etc., will also be supported. The goal is when you come to the website, your commuting option should be finalized.

(By “Group Travel” I refer to something like an ondemand carpool. This is already common in offices, where employees form a group and book a Sumo/Van for attending a colleague’s wedding and share the costs. But what if the wedding is for someone who is not a colleague, but people from your locality are attending the same. And, what if more people are travelling to the same locality, but for a different wedding. Well that is just a rough idea.)

MetroCommute.in takes a locality-centric approach to finding the routes, rather than limiting itself to specific bus stages. This is more useful when you are not sure of the stage names (like for example, there is no stage name called “Ashok Nagar” or “West Mambalam” in the MTC bus stages), but with MetroCommute.in you can find..

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Ashok Nagar

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/West Mambalam

Once you reach the locality, you can always use an auto-rickshaw for a shorter commute to your specific destination.

You can even search for options like..

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/Mount Road/with/OMR

Buses-or-Trains/Connecting/ECR/with/OMR

MetroCommute.in is developed to be embedded into other sites which have locality specific data. Sahasvat has 3 such sites (MatrimonyPlanner.in, PlaceToStay.in and PlaceToLive.in), where it requires to use this feature. The type of integration can also be flexible, with a possible two-way integration with MetroCommute.in. So building a site with such flexible options can be useful when it comes to integrating with other websites.

We welcome your feedback/suggestions on improving the usefulness of MetroCommute.in .


On Moving to office at Vijayanagar, Recruitment and Launching of Online Wedding Planning Tool

May 12, 2009

Sahasvat now functions out of a (rather small) office at Flat No.4A, 1st Cross Street, Vijayanagar, Velachery.  And apart from just me, one more person has joined its operations.

In case you want to drop by at my office, I have given the location map below..

Location of Sahasvat

Location of Sahasvat

And recently, a Free Online Wedding Planner was added to MatrimonyPlanner.

There is this Tamil quote “வீட்டை கட்டி பார், கல்யாணம் பண்ணி பார்”, refering to the stress involved in building a home and in organizing a wedding. This is related to not just organizing the finances, but to the varied tasks involved in the process of building a home or in organizing wedding.  

While apartments and independent/semi-independent villas made available as part of residential projects by builders have almost removed the non-financial hassles in owning a home, organizing a wedding is still a huge task.

MatrimonyPlanner’s Online Wedding Planner is aimed to help stay better organized when planning a wedding. 

Sample Feature : Sticker-Paper-Printable, Address Lists to match invitation envelope design.

Generate Sticker-Paper-Printable Address Lists of Guests

Address Lists of Guests, printable on sticker-papers.

In case you have any friends/relatives who are getting married, this tool should sure help them out.  Check out the features and then, go ahead and gift them peace of mind.


Buyer activism at DLF office – 300 converge seeking refund.

March 29, 2009

Around 300 buyers seeking to exit the DLF Garden City project converged at the DLF office on Saturday evening (28 March 2009) and refused to leave until DLF agreed to refund their money.

Details here :
Around 300 buyers converge at DLF office seeking refund – DLF agrees !!

300


“Betrothal at Castrol BikeZone, Marriage at Pizza Corner and Seemantham at Fitness Escola !!”

March 24, 2009

That might be a possible answer, which some children might have to say when enquired about where the functions were held for their parents.

Read how Mandapams in Chennai are giving way to business entities at : http://chennai-mandapams.blogspot.com


Schools add residential projects !! Who will be next ?!

March 22, 2009

After schools like PSBB, PSBB Millennium and Vidya Mandir (Mylapore) offering to be features in prestigious real estate projects of L&T Eden Park, DLF Garden City and L&T Arun Excello Estancia respectively, now, it the turn of schools to offer homes as part of their campus.

Read more about Vael’s Billabong High’s plan and why (I think) Infosys may be the next to jump into selling homes within their campus.