By Jason B. Neola
A bus terminal using state-of-the-art technology that will allow it to transact cashless and paperless is what the city government wishes to see in the Bicol Central Station (BCS).
BCS Manager Roderick Reforsado said the plan, once realized, would help the transportation facility to operate almost alike to the Araneta Center Bus Port in Cubao, Quezon City, from which the modernization plan was patterned.
“Aside from having a cashless and paperless transactions, we also see to it that public safety and order is maintained inside the facility and within its perimeters that is why we decided to put up there an entrance gate and installed more CCTV cameras,” he said.
He said that the physical improvements and upgrading of services is contained in development and modernization program of BCS, the needed funds for the program will be shouldered by the BCS itself.
Reforsado said that by September this year, when the construction of LCC Hypermart is completed, BCS will be equipped with 2-phase CCTV cameras, will be installed with glass door entrance and exit gates, and automatic glass doors at the lobby of provincial bound buses.
The installation of doors and cameras is in compliance to the National Land Transportation Security Program of the Office of Transportation Security (OTS) under the Department of Transportation (DOTr) including the procurement and installation of two sets of Door Metal Detector and Luggage/Baggage X-Ray Scanner Security Machine.
The projects are included in the bus terminal’s Capital Expenditure Redevelopment Plan, the implementation of which was delayed because of Covid-19 pandemic.
Phase 2 of the modernization program includes: The adoption of radio frequency identification (RFID)-based automated billing and payment collection; RFID-based lane assignment software and bay digital display; and RFID-based turnstiles for passengers;
The construction of a more convenient air-conditioned passengers holding and departure areas at the existing food court and bus unloading bays, which will be transferred and redeveloped to another location.
Setting of new heavy-duty traffic tiles on the facility’s entire floor will also be made along with the installation of heavy-duty aluminium glass window and wall in front of the loading bays for the safety of passengers and security of their belongings;
Additional two panels of terminal display system that updates passengers of real-time information of trip schedules, bus features, available seats, and status of bus and trips will be installed, maintain, and continuously improved.
The BCS management was able to collect around P51 million in net income for year 2019 and only P21 million in 2020 because of hampered operations in that year. It was on March 17, 2020 when the entire Luzon was placed on lockdown due to Covid-19 pandemic.