Gov't may defer MRT, LRT fare hike

Posted at 01/22/14 6:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Good news for commuters. The government is considering putting off the fare hike for the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 and Metro Rail Transit Line 3, in order to ease the burden on consumers who are reeling from rising oil prices and higher electricity rates.

Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said the planned hike in LRT and MRT fares would still have to be discussed at the Cabinet economic development cluster.

Abaya said the timing has to be considered, in the light of the recent Meralco power rate hike.
"You have to be sensitive to people’s lives too. You just can’t be indifferent," he said.

Abaya said said there is no definite date when the fare hike would be implemented. "There is nothing yet,” he said.
Last year, the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) agreed to revive the planned fare adjustment.

The total state subsidy per MRT or LRT passenger is between P60 to P65 for the whole line. Currently, MRT fares range from P10 to 15. However, this may go up to P11 plus P1 for each kilometer.

MRT commuters pay P15 for a one-way trip from Taft Avenue to North Avenue, while LRT 1 commuters pay P15 for a one-way trip from Baclaran to Monumento.

The last time the government raised fares for LRT and MRT was in 2003.