More than 2,300 public transport buses will be provided with Wi-Fi Internet connection by the end of the year to comply with the public utility vehicle (PUV) modernization program of the government.

This comes as telecom firm PLDT has partnered with the Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines (PBOA) to provide their members with Wi-Fi connectivity, closed circuit television (CCTV) monitoring, and vehicle tracking through the ‘SmartBus’ suite of services from the Smart Biz LTE bundle.

The Smart Bus suite will help bus operators comply with the government’s plan to modernize the public bus transportation system by installing a GPS monitoring device in their buses for commuter safety.

“Giving the commuting public easy and fast access to the internet through our Smart Biz LTE can help take their mind away from this daily grind, and enable them to be more productive by doing more tasks while in transit. Apart from the Wifi service that is well appreciated by their customers, we’ve received positive feedback from our partner bus operators that the Smart Bus suite of services gives them peace of mind regarding the security of their bus units, their personnel and their riding patrons,” PLDT senior vice president and head of enterprise Jovy Hernandez said in a statement.

The package comes with an industrial-grade robust modern router which is resistant to heat and vibration that reboots automatically to refresh its connection. “It can accommodate up to 25 users simultaneously and has a bandwidth shaper feature which allows more users to connect, delivering LTE speeds,” according to PLDT first vice president and head of SME business Mitch Locsin.

The telco is eyeing to partner with more bus operators within the year to equip their bus units with high speed connectivity.

“By the end of the year, over 2,300 buses nationwide will be fitted with the SmartBus solution benefiting millions of our commuting public,” Locsin added.

The DOTr will require public transport vehicles to install CCTV cameras, a GPS navigation system, speed limiters, dashboard cameras, and Wi-Fi to comply with the Omnibus Franchising Guidelines (OFG).

Under the OFG, public transport routes will be planned by LGUs based on the current and projected travel patterns in their respective areas. These routes will be contained in the Local Public Transport Route Plan of LGUs which will serve as basis for franchise issuance by the LTFRB. (PNA)

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