LTFRB to require GPS for buses
MANILA, Philippines – The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday, September 9, met with global positioning system (GPS) providers and suppliers for its plan to require all public utility buses (PUBs) to install GPS devices.
The board will soon be issuing a memorandum circular on the requirement.
The GPS devices will help government and private owners track down the exact location and speed of PUBs. LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said the devices would help the board check if buses are plying through their designated routes based on approved franchises, and complying with speed limits.
During the meeting, the LTFRB and GPS suppliers discussed the technical requirements for the supply of GPS devices. The board also outlined accreditation rules for suppliers.
Bus companies can only purchase GPS devices from a list of accredited suppliers, said Ginez.
The plan to require GPS devices on PUBs is a long time coming. Ginez said in December 2013 that they were already in the process of looking for viable suppliers.
The call for a speed limiter for buses, meanwhile, intensified in 2013 following a Metro Manila Skyway incident that resulted in the death of 18 people. The LTFRB sets a maximum allowable speed of 60 kilometers/per for Metro Manila buses and 90 km/h for provincial buses.
GPS data, app for commuters
Before getting accreditation, GPS providers must first make sure the firmware of their devices is updated so GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data can be sent to a server via Transmission Control Protocol, with the pre-approved interval and correct format.
The LTFRB said bus companies would be required to enroll each bus’ GPS device into its system. A test run will then be conducted to double check if the SIM card in the GPS device is the correct one and if the device is running correctly.
GPS device suppliers will also be required to install LED-based On Screen Displays on buses so that passengers themselves can monitor the speed of the bus.
Future plans include a mobile application that will help commuters track down the estimated time of arrival of buses. – Rappler.com