DoTC says proposed fare hikes in MRT, LRT remain suspended

Published by rudy Date posted on March 31, 2011

Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) fares still remain the same at the moment as the implementation date of the proposed fare increase is still undecided, an official of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) said.

“Implementation date is still uncertain. The petition is still under consultation stage at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board,” DoTC deputy spokesman Chiqui de la Paz said at the “Talking Points” radio program aired over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan at the Philippine Information Agency Bldg. in Quezon City.

The DoTC earlier had approved a boarding fee of P11 and a P1 charge for every kilometer for both the MRT and LRT lines.

As a result of the new fares, traveling the entire length of the MRT line, a total of 17 kilometers from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to North Avenue in Quezon City, would cost P28.

For the LRT Lines 1 and 2, the maximum fares will be P30 and P25, respectively.

Implementation of fare hike in the Metro Manila rail systems has been repeatedly postponed, mainly due to appeal of the riding public.

Labor groups, including the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP), said of the 4.2 million workers in Metro Manila, some 2.18 million are minimum wage earners, and many of them take the trains to work every day.

But De la Paz appealed to the public to consider the increase as “a hike is inevitable” as the Metro Rail Transit Authority (MRTA) and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) need fund to implement upgrading and maintenance of the trains which suffer from continuous wear and tear from daily operations.

“We also need to improve the facilities such as the elevators, escalators, tracks and to provide more train availability. LRTA and MRTA will purchase more trains to accommodate their growing clientele,” she said.

Last Monday, four persons were hurt when commotion struck a southbound LRT train approaching the United Nations Avenue station in Manila. The incident was prompted by smoke that billowed out of burnt brake pad.

De la Paz said such incidents can be avoided when there are sufficient funds to maintain the trains.

She stressed, however, that despite the depleted budget, both MRT and LRT trains undergo periodic maintenance to ensure the safety of the riding public. PNA

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