THE Land Transportation Regulatory Board (LTFRB), in line with its program to equip all public utility bus (PUBs) with in-vehicle Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring equipment, has set a deadline for GPS providers to submit their systems to the Board to obtain valid certification.
“The Board is now in the final review of coming up with the Memorandum Circular on the GPS Providers’ Accreditation and GPS installation on all PUB units nationwide. We are looking at second quarter of the year to issue the policy,” LTFRB chairman Atty. Winston Ginez said.
The Board has given all GPS providers until March 31, 2015 to submit their GPS system to LTFRB’s Information Systems Management Division (ISMD) for registration and testing.
Earlier this month, the Board announced plans to pilot-test GPS gadgets on selected buses in the second quarter of this year. The decision to install the system on PUBs was based on a study of the UP National Center for Transportation (UP-NCTS), which recommended the GPS device as the best and most viable option to regulate bus speed and minimize road accidents.
Ginez said that all GPS providers must secure certification from LTFRB that their systems have passed the testing process before they can install it in a bus for actual testing.
Based on the UP-NCTS study, commuting by public transport is much riskier than by private car, with bus passengers exposed to the highest accident risk.
Calculating the accident rate per vehicle for each mode of transport, the study shows that buses are six times more at risk than cars and five times more than jeepneys or taxis and UV express service.
Last month, the Board met with all interested GPS providers to present the final specification and registration of the GPS device to LTFRB’s system.
The Board also consulted with bus operators last year with one bus company, Jam Liner Inc, volunteering to install a prototype GPS system to test on one of its units.
In coordination with the Department of Science and Technology-Advance Science Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), the Board has successfully implemented the testing of the bus units using the specification and registration process.
The tests are still ongoing and can be viewed ‘live’ with the LTFRB’s systems.
Under the program, an in-vehicle GPS device and communication system that will continuously send speed and location data to a control center will be installed in all PUBs.
A bus will be tagged as speeding when the in-vehicle GPS device exceeds the imposed speed limit. Bus passengers can also monitor real-time speed of the bus through an on-screen display system installed in the bus.