GMA finally replaces Estrada at MRT
() - June 9, 2002 - 12:00am
Estrada is out, Gloria is in, but not just at Malacañang, but also at the Metro Rail Transit, now the most popular form of transportation along EDSA that traverses three cities in Metro Manila.

Tomorrow, the EDSA MRT-3 will start issuing 250,000 new stored value tickets with the photograph of President Arroyo. These will replace the SVTs bearing the photograph of former President Joseph Estrada.

But that will not be the only change. The new SVTs will be valued at P100 each, instead of P200 as was the case during Estrada’s presidency.

Transportation and Communications Secretary Pantaleon Alvarez said it was decided to cut down by half the value of the SVTs in order to make them more affordable to commuters.

A survey of the regular MRT commuters held over a period of one week showed that the great majority preferred the P100 SVTs.

"With more people buying the SVTs, there would be less number of people queuing up before the ticket stations of the MRT, thus benefiting the regular commuters who would not have to stand up in line for a long time to get their tickets,"Alvarez said.

EDSA MRT-3 general manager Mario Miranda revealed that the government did not spend a single centavo to replace the Erap tickets because the new P100 tickets were provided free of charge by the AAMES Group of Companies, provided the group was allowed to have the tickets carry its advertisements.

The SVTs are used several times until they are fully spent. Single-journey tickets, still carrying the photo of Estrada, will be replaced possibly in June or July by new tickets carrying the photo of Mrs. Arroyo as it will take time to print them.

The single-journey tickets will eventually be phased out, according to Miranda, as soon a sufficient number of tickets numbering around 1.5 million are printed and distributed.

According to Miranda, the MRT printed about 2.5 million SVTs and single journey tickets costing $240 million when the MRT 3 started operations in 1999.

The MRT does not have an exclusive contract with AAMES to print the tickets. Thus other companies may volunteer to sponsor the printing of other tickets just as a form of advertisement, it was explained. The MRT, however, will have to approve the design and size of the tickets in order to conform to the specifications of the automatic registering machines.

GROUP OF COMPANIES MARIO MIRANDA METRO MANILA METRO RAIL TRANSIT MIRANDA MRS. ARROYO MRT PRESIDENT ARROYO PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA SVTS TICKETS
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