MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday launched its bus management and dispatch system aimed at reducing the number of buses on Metro Manila's roads and preventing drivers with unsettled traffic violations from plying their routes.
Under the new system, bus drivers will have to get their fingers scanned to receive their dispatch slip before they can set out. Drivers with at least three unsettled traffic violations will not be dispatched until they settle their tickets.
The dispatch system is the first bus reduction program in the country that utilizes biometrics or finger-scanning to identify and monitor bus drivers, ensuring the safety of commuters, MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said.
The biometrics machine is linked to a database which contains relevant information on every registered driver.
The new system is also expected to reduce the number of colorum buses, and help instill discipline among drivers and operators.
"Our aim is to instill discipline among PUB drivers and make them aware that we at the MMDA, together with other agencies, are capable of monitoring them, especially their driving behavior," Tolentino said.
The program was pilot-tested at the MMDA's bus dispatch terminal in Fairview, Quezon City. Twelve more satellite stations are set to be established all over Metro Manila later this year.
Operators also see the database as a guide for hiring new drivers.
The MMDA said a total of 3,471 city buses operated by 105 firms have registered in the database, which is also linked with other agencies such as the Land Transportation Office, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, and National Bureau of Investigation. – with report from Maan Macapagal, ANC