MMDA starts pilot testing “E-Tagging” on PUVs

November 8, 2012 11:12 pm 

By Lloyd Caliwan

MANILA, Nov. 8 — Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino and leaders of transport groups Thursday led the installation of the electronic tagging or “e-tagging” on several buses and passenger jeepney at the agency’s main office in Makati City.

Tolentino said the e-tagging involved the placement of the Radio Frequency Identification Device in a registered PUV which will be linked to the agency’s computer database that contained the vehicle’s identification records.

Tolentino said the agency started Thursday the pilot-testing of electronic tagging or “e-tagging” of public utility vehicles.

This is meant to help authorities track their location and rid the metropolis’ roadways of “colorum” vehicles.

The MMDA chief explained that when an electronically-tagged PUV enters the loading bays, a green light will signal that it is detected by the system and the countdown timers begins.

The system can detect if the bus has exceeded the mandated 25-seconds it is to stay at the loading stations, and the green light will turn to red to signal the driver that he is overstaying.

This, in turn will generate a report to the MMDA Traffic Metrobase, allowing authorities to issue traffic violation receipts to the erring driver.

The agency said the system will be of great help in solving traffic problems in the metropolis, particularly at the 23.8-kilometer long Epifanio de los Santos Avenue brought by overstaying PUVs.

However, MMDA Organized Bus Route Director Mila Silvestre said the full implementation of the scheme on all PUVs (buses, jeepneys, taxicabs and Asian Utility Vehicles) in Metro Manila would only start on April 15 next year.

“Sa ngayon ceremonial tagging or launching pa lang ito, the whole implementation were looking at April 15, 2013 kasi meron tayong three months talaga for actual tagging for the PUVs,” Silvestre said.

The official said they would commence the tagging on January 16.

“January 16 ang start na magta-tagging, then by April 15 ina-assumed namin na lahat na mayroong e-tag ang mga PUVs,” Silvestre added.

For the program’s infrastructure, the MMDA would be provided with 60 handheld RFID readers and 26 fixed ones.

For his part, Atty. Vigor Mendoza, legal counsel of transport and party-list group I-Utak said they welcomed the implementation of the long-delayed scheme which was first floated in 2010.

“This a great opportunity for the drivers of the registered PUVs to increase their income,” Mendoza said since colorum PUVs would not be able to avail of the scheme, adding that “soon enough, this would also ease the traffic situation on major roads in the metropolis as colorum vehicles would no longer be able ply their trade.

Mendoza also said the e-tag also cost less (about P480 per RFID sticker) compared to manual painting of the vehicle’s license plate number on the roof, front, back and two sides of the PUV would cost about P4, 000 per unit for bus and P1, 500 for jeepney compared to the P500 of the RFID tag.

Likewise the RFID tag has a shelf life of 10 years compared to painting which they say would only last for a year or two. (PNA)

HBC/CLTC

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