New LTFRB app ‘Safe Ride’ helps keep commuters out of harm’s way

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Oct. 27 (PNA) — A new mobile app has been launched by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) on Tuesday to help enhance the safety of the commuting public.

Dubbed as “Safe Ride,” the app developed by local software start-up company Galileo Software Services Inc., turns smartphones into an advanced personal safety device as it easily tracks the location of the user.

It has a feature that allows a user to take photos of a public utility vehicle’s (PUV) plate number and driver and is automatically sent to Galileo’s database server.

Safe Ride also has a pre-installed “red button” which serves as an emergency notification solution that allows a user to send an emergency message to a pre-set secondary/emergency number.

Once the “red button” is pressed, the user can transmit an “SOS” signal where all the data such as photographs, geo-location and other information can be sent.

This will be recorded by Galileo which will then be transmitted to LTFRB’s contact centers for processing and appropriate action.

LTFRB Chairman Winston Ginez said that the app will be ready for download by late November.

“Due to interconnection between Safe Ride and LTFRB’s call center, the app will be ready by end of November,” Ginez told the Philippines News Agency.

Ginez meanwhile confirmed that the Board did not shell out any amount for the development of the app.

“Yes, no funds will be spent by LTFRB for this project,” Ginez said, adding that Galileo, headed by ZTE-NBN whistleblower Jun Lozada, offered to develop the app as part of the company’s social responsibility.

Galileo is also the same company that partnered with several telecom companies to donate 30 tablets to PNP/CHPG with the application that helps patrol vehicular road accidents along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA) called Police Accident Report Kit (PARAK).

At present, LTFRB and Galileo are working on a reporting system to adequately respond to emergency messages sent through Safe Ride.

This includes establishing necessary contact center facilities and/or agents with communication lines to the Philippine National Police (PNP), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), local hospitals, and/or other appropriate emergency response and law enforcement agencies.

Galileo will also be providing guidelines for the use and upkeep of Safe Ride to ensure its reliable performance, including technical support/help desk hotline to ensure the effective use of the application.

Lozada said the company developed the app to keep passengers’ loved ones from worrying.

“We want to empower the riding public and other individuals that commute using public transport with an integrated mobile security application that they can use to record important information they can pass to their loved ones to prevent them from worrying, while they are on the road,” Lozada said.

Ginez, meanwhile encouraged commuters to use the app once it is launched as it will also help the Board improve its regulatory services.

“Safe Ride is a good mobile tool to protect commuters from bad elements of the society; we are pleased to collaborate with Galileo in promoting its use which is in line with the Board’s mission of ensuring the safety and convenient of the riding public,” Ginez said.

”We encourage people to use it so they can also report reckless driving, and rude behavior to the LTFRB,” he added. (PNA)