Suspend fines for out-of-line, LTFRB asked
A bus operator and former lawmaker on Tuesday backed the installation of global positioning system (GPS) in buses, citing passenger safety and better fleet management.
Former 1-Utak party-list Rep. Homer Mercado, however, said that the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) should suspend the imposition of fines, particularly for out-of-line operation, pending the rationalization of franchise routes.
“I like the system, we can monitor our drivers. And 80 kilometers per hour is the most economical speed for fuel efficiency,” Mercado, owner of HM Transport, said in a media interview on Tuesday.
But instead of penalizing out-of-line operations which has a fine of P1 million, the LTFRB could use the GPS data to determine route measured capacity.
“Let’s not penalize for a while. It’s better if we could first study and rationalize routes using the GPS monitoring. You will have solid data to stand on. Set the franchise right before we restrict,” Mercado said.
The Provincial Bus Operators Association of the Philippines has asked the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to stop the LTFRB memorandum circular requiring the GPS installation, citing, among other reasons, the burden on operators who will have to pay Internet service providers for connectivity.
PBOAP counsel Elmer Distor raised the concern that some buses that may need to reroute due to road closures would be automatically slapped a hefty fine.
LTFRB Chair Winston Ginez, however, said that only those with clear deviations from their franchise route would be penalized, such as when a bus authorized for Cubao-Dagupan City route is monitored going up to Baguio.
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