Corporate News

PLDT targets public transport vehicles for Smartbus solutions

Posted on October 28, 2016

TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant PLDT, Inc. -- through its enterprise arm PLDT SME Nation -- is aiming to equip public transport vehicles with its latest solution that will provide tracking device, on-board security surveillance, e-ticketing system and Wi-Fi connectivity to the country’s various mass transit system.

During the launch of “Smartbus” solutions on Thursday, PLDT SME Nation Head for Channel Sales Corrine F. Zablan said the group is optimistic that the transport sector -- bus companies in particular -- will utilize the technology which could also be adopted eventually by taxi, UV Express operators and ferry lines.

“Actually the Smartbus project is a concept but it’s applicable to any bus companies... This digital innovation will help not just a particular bus service but the riding public, we’d like to introduce this concept to really digitize bus operations,” Ms. Zablan said.

There are 33,000 buses and around 400 bus operators in the country. There are also 36,000 taxis, 217,000 jeepneys and 90,000 tricycles.

Omni A. Larrosa, the company’s Product Lead for Business Solutions, noted that 77% of the riding public will depend on bus transport by 2030 and P79.5 million worth of man-hours are lost due to traffic with an estimated four hours in traffic daily.

PLDT VP and Head of SME Nation Mitchell L. Locsin said the move is in line with the government’s plan to modernize public bus transportation by providing a series digital solutions that 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.

“Our SmartBus Solution Suite offers innovative products that help solve bus operators’ day-to-day issues from security to keeping their buses in check, while passengers also get to enjoy their trip with the connectivity on-board,” Mr. Locsin was quoted as saying.

He noted that the project 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.

The SmartBus project provides bus operators Smart Biz LT -- which connects fleets with business-grade Wi-Fi; Smart Tracker, an LTFRB-approved GPS Tracker; Smart Cam, which gives owners the security to view and monitor the situation inside their buses; and Smart e-Ticketing which is a system that automates dispatch scheduling and quotes fares real-time and enables users to manage and monitor admissions and retail from the Head office while tracking real-time sales.

Currently, there are at least 600 bus units -- from Victory Liner, Genesis, ES, Greenfrog and Ube Express -- with installed “Smartbus” solutions and PLDT SME Nation “plans to grow the number further,” Ms. Larrosa said.

PLDT SME Nation serves as PLDT’s business unit delivering innovative digital solutions. Through technology, PLDT enables local businesses to better serve their customers, and expand their operations. -- Imee Charlee C. Delavin