LTFRB REQUIRES PROVINCIAL BUSES TO INSTALL GPS DEVICES BY APRIL 30; METRO MANILA BUSES BY AUG. 30

MANILA — Provincial buses entering Metro Manila have until April 30 to install global positioning system (GPS) devices on their units, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) said on Friday.

LTFRB made the announcement two days after the initial list of GPS providers was released on Feb. 10.

To recall, four providers have passed the testing procedures conducted by the Board, the Department of Science and Technology Advanced Science and Technology Institute (DOST-ASTI) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).

These are New Culture Transport, distributor of M-Rex Tracker; Vectras, distributor of Vectras; American Technology Inc., distributor of Atrack; and Unitrack, distributor of Unitrack.

As soon as all provincial buses entering Metro Manila have their GPS devices installed by April 30, Metro Manila buses will follow and have their GPS devices installed from May 1 to Aug. 30, 2016.

Inter-regional buses not entering Metro Manila have from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 to install their GPS devices, while intra-regional buses have from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2017.

At present, LTFRB has already informed bus transport associations, such as the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOAP) and Southern Luzon Bus Operators Association (SOLUBOA), of the initial list of up-to-spec GPS devices.

LTFRB clarified that only the said devices and additional brands that will pass ongoing testing procedures can be registered with the LTFRB and installed on bus units.

Registration and installation of GPS devices can be done only by the GPS device provider under the supervision of the LTFRB’s personnel.

Penalties

The Board, meanwhile, said that penalties will be imposed on bus operators who fail to install their GPS devices on the dates mentioned.

Bus operators who fail to install GPS devices will be penalized Php5,000 per unit. After a 30-day grace period from the end of the compliance period, an additional penalty of Php1,000 per unit per month will be imposed.

Operators or drivers found tampering with the devices will also be fined Php5,000 for the first offense; Php 10,000 for the second offense; and Php15,000 and the suspension of their certificate of public convenience (CPC) for 30 days for the third and subsequent offenses.

LTFRB Chairman Atty. Winston Ginez welcomed the latest developments in the Board, noting that the installation of GPS devices on all units will increase the agency’scapabilities to monitor public utility buses (PUBs).

Ginez noted that the installation of GPS devices on PUBs is expected to minimize road risk, as the device can help the LTFRB check if a bus is within the speed limit and on its proper route based on the approved franchise.

“The LTFRB’s main aim is to protect the safety of the riding public by regulating the speed limit of buses traversing our national roads and highways,” Ginez said.

“With the use of the latest and innovative technology, we believe we can modernize our transport system and provide the commuters with reliable, convenient, and safe transportation services,” he added. PNAnorthboundasia.com