In an interview, Light Rail Manila Corp. president and chief executive officer Juan Alfonso said revenue and ridership at the LRT-1 have been impacted by the two developments.
Light Rail Transit Authority/File
Taal eruption, virus threat taking toll on LRT-1 revenues
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - February 17, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A consortium led by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) and Ayala Corp. operating the LRT-1 said the rail line has been hit with a double whammy from the lingering novel coronavirus scare and Taal volcano’s eruption last month.

In an interview, Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) president and chief executive officer Juan Alfonso said revenue and ridership at the LRT-1 have been impacted by the two developments.

“We can talk about January, there was Taal (eruption). Obviously, we’re affected if there’s no class. Taal was almost one week,” he said.

And then there is the novel coronavirus disease scare which according to Alfonso affected everybody.

“What is affecting us now, even the malls, all the volume of malls and retail, is the virus,” he said.

“Definitely, everybody is affected. People are canceling trips that are non essential. I think there’s uncertainty because people are not sure how it is going to affect them so maybe when there’s more confidence, when they feel they can safeguard their health more, then they’ll come back,” the LRMC official said.

Alfonso said LRMC is still studying the full extent of the impact of the coronavirus situation to LRT-1 operations.

“We’re not sure what the exact numbers will be,” he said.

For last year, Alfonso said LRT-1 revenues finished “within expectations.”

This year, he said the outcome would likely depend on a lot of factors.

LRMC is a consortium composed of MPIC’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp., Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp., and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd.

The consortium is currently constructing the LRT-1 Cavite extension project which will expand the existing line. From Baclaran, eight more stations--Redemptorist, MIA, Asiaworld, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Las Piñas, Zapote, and Niog – will be increasing the total number of LRT-1 stations from 20 to 28.

 

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