The enterprise business arm of PLDT Inc. has partnered with AF Payments Inc. (AFPI) to enable a modernized fare system for the transportation sector.

PLDT Enterprise’s Smart Tracker, a GPS tracking system that monitors vehicle location, will be used in the contact payments firm’s automated fare collection system “to provide a complete fleet management and fare collection solution to public transport operators.”

The Transportation department said it will be rolling out a cashless transit card payment system that can be used for all modes of public transportation nationwide this year.

AFPI has been working with public transport operators of train, jeepney and bus fleets, including the three light rail systems of Manila and the EDSA bus consortiums, on modern fare collection based on contactless cards and QR codes.

“The Smart Tracker solution aims to simplify the management of fleets of public transport vehicles. With the service, Public Transport Operators can choose to provide locator links which commuters can access in order to better manage their commute and travel time,” Jojo Gendrano, first vice president and head of PLDT Enterprise Core Business, said in a statement.

PLDT in a separate statement said its fiber infrastructure reached 429,000 kilometers in December, while its wireless arm Smart Communications Inc. increased the number of its base stations to over 59,000 as of December 2020.

The fiber infrastructure supports Smart’s mobile networks, which now cover 96% of the population and is available in 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities.

“Building on the strengths of our technological capabilities and laser focus on customer-centricity, we stepped into 2021 with many new aspirations. Our journey continues further by capitalizing on the various improvements we made in 2020, when we pivoted toward market leadership. This year, we will accelerate our capabilities and achieve more milestones,” Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart Communications president and CEO and PLDT chief revenue officer, said.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a majority stake in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group, which it controls. — Jenina P. Ibañez