A cellphone-sized digital meter may well be the solution to the troubles shared commonly by tricycle passengers in the city.
Developed by Florentino Aguilar, a computer engineering student from the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU), the fare meter is a device that accurately measures the distance travelled and automatically computes the exact fare based on the prevailing fare matrix for tricycles. Aguilar modeled this device after taxi cab meters.
Commuters in Zamboanga City have been experiencing inconveniences with trike drivers, often labeled as “vultures on wheels”, who indiscreetly over-charge and jack up the fares. Common reasons for the over-charging according to trike drivers themselves include rising prices of gasoline, terrible traffic and traffic re-routing schemes, among others.
This malpractice is a violation of City Ordinance 185, and has been vocally rebuked by city officials including Mayor Beng Climaco.
Tourists who were “victimized” by said drivers complained that trikes here demand more than the amount they pay for taxi cabs in the metro cities.
Aguilar hopes that with the patenting of his trike meter, and with the mandatory installation in all tricycles, fare over-charging will soon be a thing of the past. Aguilar said that he has already presented the device to the members of the city council, who have given suggestions to improve it.
The trike meter is one of the local inventions being exhibited at the Regional Invention Contest and Exhibit (RICE) at the Palacio del Sur until Friday, November 24. This event is open to the public. (ALT/DIS/PIA9-Zamboanga City)