The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) will soon require all public utility buses nationwide to install global positioning system (GPS) devices to enable authorities to locate them and monitor their speed limits.
“The (GPS) system would also enable the board to strictly impose the speed limits on buses and thereby provide a safe travel for our commuters,” LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez said in a statement.
The LTFRB recently met with GPS providers and suppliers to discuss technical parameters and requirements of the device.
Suppliers were also briefed by the board on how to acquire accreditation to supply the GPS to bus operators.
“Bus operators will only be allowed to purchase and install GPS devices from suppliers accredited by the board,” Ginez said.
The LTFRB also said that all GPS devices to comply with the data format and programming language required by the board.
To secure accreditation, GPS providers must update the firmware of their devices in order to send GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) data to the server via TCP on a predefined interval with the correct format.
LTFRB will provide a software application to enroll each device with the corresponding details of the bus where it will be installed. The software application will be part of the GPS in sending and replying SMS queries to inquire on the unique ID assigned using a defined command to verify if the ID is on the device is correct. This would also validate the SIM card number encoded.
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 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 operations and other important details.
Buses plying Metro Manila have a speed limit of 60 kilometers per hour (kph) while provincial buses have a speed limit of 90 kph. “With this display apparatus device, even the passengers will be involved in monitoring the speed of the bus,” Ginez said.
The LTFRB is implementing these measures in line with Executive Order No. 202, which authorizes the board to require public utility vehicle operators to equip and install devices that promote safety, protection, and comfort of the commuting public.