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MRT-3's Libreng Sakay extended for third straight month

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MRT-3's Libreng Sakay extended for third straight month
MRT-3 commuters at North Ave. station observe the reduced physical distancing protocol by the Department of Transportation on Sept. 14, 2020.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — The Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 is extending its free rides program for the third straight month to coincide with the end date of the outgoing administration of President Rodrigo Duterte on June 30, 2022. 

"This will allow the MRT-3 to further test its capacity and performance in accommodating up to or more than 350,000 passengers," MRT-3 General Manager Michael Capati told reporters at a press briefing Wednesday morning.

The third extension is meant to ease commuters' financial burden amid inflation and rising fuel prices, the MRT-3 management said. 

In the first few weeks of the program, commuters on social media bemoaned long queues at MRT-3 stations, prompting the management to deploy four-car trains during peak hours to go with the usual three-car trains. 

According to the Department of Transportation's data, the MRT-3 has serviced 15,381,945 commuters since the MRT-3’s free rides program started on March 28

It's unclear how the line's management plans to offset the loss in revenue for the third month in a row after the Libreng Sakay project began on March 28. 

At the time, Capati brushed off concerns on funding, saying the MRT-3 collects some P2.7 million a day while it also has a P23.1 billion under the General Appropriations Act that can be used.

Franco Luna 

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

METRO RAIL TRANSIT-LINE 3

MRT-3

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