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Capitol to use bus tracker app soon
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Sunday, December 13, 2020
The Capitol is considering using a mobile application that will provide bus trip information to public commuters of Cebu Province. (FILE PHOTO)

The Cebu Provincial Government is looking into the use of an innovative transport solution for the fleet management of Province-owned vehicles as well as buses plying the provincial routes.

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia told Provincial Legal Office Chief Donato Villa, Jr. to look into the proposal of RideHero, a mobile application for public commuters, and prepare a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on the use of said smart technology at no cost at all to the Capitol.

RideHero President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Cubos, in a meeting with Garcia recently, said he admires the enthusiasm of the governor to be at the “forefront of using innovative technology” involving trip tracking of buses and Capitol-managed vehicles for more convenience and support to public transportation.

“Nalipay kaayo ta sa meeting kay we have a proactive governor. Kay bisan pa og naa ang technology, but ang leader dili receptive mausik lang. But if the leader is looking for better ways, this is one way of encouraging more people to commute,” he said.

“Karon man gud daghan ang maglinya sa karsada motaas na lang ang liog og hinuwat sa bus, and because they cannot seem to figure out kanus-a gyud moabot ang bus or kon duna ba’y enough bus ana nga ruta, mopalit na lang og sakyanan and so mosamot ka-traffic,” Cubos pointed out.

And since Garcia is known to support breakthrough technologies, RideHero, a first of its kind in the country, will be first used in the Province of Cebu, he added.

Garcia learned from Cubos that there are already 300 northern Cebu buses, including Bantayan Island, which have been installed Global Positioning System (GPS) devices that feed real-time information to the RideHero application which, in turn, update commuters on the location of the buses, and estimated time of arrival and departure, among other vital information.

The application will be used for over 200 vehicles owned by the Capitol and the buses it is tapping to ferry employees since the start of the community quarantines.

“Para makahibawo ta asa atong mga sakyanan, kon misunod ba sa trip ticket o wala ba,” Garcia said to Atty. Villa and to Provincial Administrator Noli Vincent Valencia.

Cubos said that RideHero is a way to “save up time waiting in the wrong places.”

“Using the RideHero app, a commuter can also check the best route for him. RideHero is set to put the buses online. This means that information about the location, arrival time and departure time will be provided real-time,” he reiterated.

“Mahibaw-an sa pasahero if padung na ba or wala pa ang bus. For example, ma-project man sa electronic billboard nga five minutes pa usa mo-arrive, so naa pa’y time ang passenger to go to the comfort room or to buy bread,” he added.

The information is relayed real-time also to the Office of the Governor, to the Philippine National Office, and to the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.

“Ang info reflected na sa Governor’s Office, sa LTFRB, sa police stations. For example, kanang mo-exceed sa speed or kanang padung na mo-expire ang registration. Makahatag dayon og order nga ayaw sa na padagana ang bus kay mo-expire na ang registration, or ang driver’s license is to expire dali na nato na makit-an,” Cubos further said.

“Just imagine if you have the visibility on all buses in Cebu, at the end of this, after months, the value here is the data, what particular route is underserved, or some areas overserved. Government leaders and regulators will get valuable information upon which they would base their opinion and decision,” he elucidated.

The MOA is set to stipulate that RideHero will provide the GPS devices to operators for free.

When asked on how RideHero will be able to recoup the installation of a smart transport system without a cost to the Province, to operators, and to commuters, Cubos turned to the dynamics of the economic infrastructure of Facebook as a model.

“Just like Facebook, nga diha sila mikita on how we have put our attention to it. We become part of the ecosystem. We become part of the product. We will be able to recoup the cost through sponsored posts or advertising,” he said. (Eleanor Valeros)