Home » Aviation, Maritime, Ports/Terminals » Transport agencies push automation under new normal

Transport agencies are shifting to the new normal through automation of transactions, including integration of payment platforms covering all Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) terminals to limit face-to-face cargo transactions.

The move is in line with safety precautionary measures—including physical distancing and limiting direct human-to-human contact—being prescribed by health authorities to contain the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Department of Transportation said in a statement.

In the maritime sector, the Automated Passenger Ticketing System will soon be implemented. The PPA will automate passenger ticketing in all its passenger terminals nationwide to avoid face-to-face ticketing transactions.

The pilot testing of the system started in March this year and is targeted to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2020.

Further, a centralized vessel tracking and port surveillance system called the National Port Monitoring Center will be implemented. This will be used to monitor vessel and port activities as part of border control and protection.

In the aviation sector, the use of Virtual Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower is being considered. The use of remote virtual towers allows ATC services to be provided away from the airport, instead of airport towers. The technology is being considered to boost passenger safety.

In the road sector, several transactions will be made online and through cashless payments.

Starting June 16, 2020, the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board will launch in Metro Manila the Public Transport Online Processing System or PTOPS, which will allow services to be made accessible online.

The Land Transportation Office, meanwhile, will implement digital transactions made through the Land Transportation Management System. Through the system, application for driver/conductor’s renewal of license, requests for revision of records, and requests for Certificate of No Apprehension can be processed online.

Additionally, cashless transactions will be implemented in public utility vehicles, taxis, and transport network vehicle services through Automatic Fare Collection System. This is carried out through the support of various payment solutions companies, whose mobile applications have also features that allow contact tracing of passengers.

Further, electronic toll collection will be made through the mandatory use of Radio Frequency Identification tags on all PUVs using tollways and expressways.

In the railways sector, DOTr said services will undergo total digitalization. This includes online reservations or train ticket purchases. Passengers can also opt to use cards or use digital payment options.

In addition, rail networks will expand the use of artificial intelligence on its infrastructure. DOTr said this method will be of great benefit for massive scanning and temperature profiling, automated contact tracing, human-to-human contact detection or detection of social distancing violations, face mask detection, and frequent contact surface analysis.

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