MANILA — All public utility buses (PUBs) will soon be required to install global positioning system (GPS) devices to have their speed limits monitored, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said Tuesday.
While the LTFRB has yet to set a date on GPS device installation, the board already met with GPS providers and suppliers on Monday to discuss the technical parameters and requirements of the device.
Also during the meeting, the board also briefed them on how to acquire accreditation to supply the GPS to bus operators.
LTFRB spokesperson Mary Ann Salada said in a text message to the Philippines News Agency that at present, the policy for accreditation of GPS is still being subjected to public consultation.
She said the deadline for submission of comments from GPS companies is on Sept. 19 while a consultation meeting with PUB companies will be held on Sept. 23. The board expects GPS accreditation by next month.
Since not all GPS would be allowed for installation in PUBs, LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez stressed that all GPS devices must first comply with the data format and programming language required by the board.
“Bus operators will only be allowed to purchase and install GPS devices from supplier accredited by the board,” Ginez said in a statement.
In order to get accreditation, GPS providers must update the firmware of their devices in order to send GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data to the server.
After accredited GPS devices are purchased, bus operators will be required to bring the device with their Land Transportation Office (LTO) official receipt and/or certificate of registration of the vehicle to LTFRB for registration and verification of the system.
The board will then provide a software application to enroll each device with the corresponding details of the bus where it will be installed.
To ensure that the GPS installed is functioning properly, the device will be subject to a test run upon installation. The data sending capability of the device will be checked.
During the test run, a reference GPS device approved by LTFRB will be on the bus. Both devices will send data to the server and these will be plotted and compared to check the accuracy of the device under test.
Accredited providers/suppliers are also required to have their GPS equipped with an LED-based On Screen Display (OSD) to show the actual speed of the bus during the operations and other important details.
“With this display apparatus device, even the passengers will be involved in monitoring the speed of the bus,” Ginez added. Allowable maximum speed limit is 60 kilometers per hour for Metro Manila buses and 90kph for provincial buses.
Aside from the GPS devices, the board is also working on a downloadable application to allow passengers to determine what time the bus will arrive at a certain location and how long it will take to reach their destinations.
“The installation of GPS in public buses is one way to easily find out if a bus is not in the proper route according to franchise,” Ginez said in Filipino.
“It would also enable the board to strictly impose the speed limits on buses and thereby provide a safe travel for our commuters,” he added.