To lessen traffic jams, PLDT unveils solutions for public transportation

Heeding the call of the government to modernize public bus transportation, telecommunications firm PLDT has introduced transportation solutions which it said could help enhance the country’s urban bus transport system and improve commuter convenience and security.

smart bus

PLDT said the series of digital solutions are suited to benefit bus operators through efficient tracking of their transport units, on-board security surveillance, monitoring real-time sales through an e-ticketing system, and Wi-Fi connectivity inside the bus premises for passengers.

Called the PLDT SME Nation SmartBus project, the offering helps answer the need for bus operators to comply with the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) circular that requires bus operators to install a global positioning system (GPS) monitoring devices in their vehicles to help track its movements and promote commuter safety.

At a press briefing on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Novotel Hotel in Quezon City, PLDT SME Nation executive Omni Larrosa said a number of bus operators, including hybrid bus firm Green Frog, have already adopted some of the solutions.

She said cashless payment options cards such the Beep tap card can be integrated in the solutions. “This can be done easily since PayMaya, which is one of those implementing the Beep card, is also part of the PLDT Group,” Larrosa said.

The SmartBus project provides bus operators the following solutions to implement:

• Smart Biz LTE — Connects fleets with business-grade Wi-Fi that address the connectivity needs of companies under the transportation industry such as bus companies and UV Express. It can connect up to 45 devices at the same time and delivers non-stop LTE speeds.

• Smart Tracker — An LTFRB approved GPS Tracker, this helps bus companies track and monitor their vehicles which make dispatching of fleets more efficient. It online location map can also be integrated to a traffic update platform that could give real-time traffic conditions for the bus route. Business owners and dispatchers can also get SMS, email, and web alerts when drivers are overspeeding, idle, and in emergency situations. It also lets owners monitor fuel consumption through distance traveled by their units, alerts if ever their units go past a defined geozone.

• Smart Cam — This gives owners the security to view and monitor the situation inside their buses. This gives passengers that security of remote surveillance in case of emergencies. The device can also be installed near the bus’s fuel source to prevent gas pilferage.

• Smart Fleet — This cloud-based solution helps bus operators perform vehicle management operations such as maintenance, dispatching and cashiering, driver data, and reports. It helps drivers to reduce vehicle operations and maintenance which saves on costs.

• Smart e-Ticketing — A system that automates dispatch scheduling and quotes fares real-time. It enables users to manage and monitor admissions and retail from the head office while tracking real-time sales. Travel fare is computed and is printed out with the details for the passenger, and information gets transmitted to the head office in real-time.

PLDT executives said the solutions can be availed in varying packages that suit different needs of bus operators. Operators can choose from the Smart Tracker Plans, Smart Cam Plans, Smart E-Ticketing, or even combine solutions to design their own plan for monthly rates.

While the solutions are targeted initially at public utility buses, Larrosa said other modes of public transportation such as jeepneys and taxis can also adopt the ICT-based offerings.

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