LRT fare hike not yet final – LRTA  

Ghio Ong, Elijah Felice Rosales - The Philippine Star
LRT fare hike not yet final � LRTA    
The LRTA said fares at the LRT-1 and LRT-2 would remain the same pending approval by the board of the proposed hikes.
Miguel de Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB)’s approval of fare increases for the Light Rail Transit-1 and LRT-2 is not yet final, the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) clarified yesterday.

The LRTA said fares at the LRT-1 and LRT-2 would remain the same pending approval by the board of the proposed hikes.

The LRT’s current fare is P1 per kilometer plus a boarding fare of P11.

The LTFRB proposed to adjust the fare rates at the LRT-1 and LRT-2 by P2.29 for the boarding fare and by P0.21 for every kilometer, for a total of P13.29.

The LRTA said the proposal to increase fares would go through the usual procedure of conducting public hearings and getting the board’s approval.

The LTFRB approved the fare hike petition in its capacity as a member of the board, according to the LRTA.

“The LTFRB’s approval is not final. It would go to the proper process,” the LRTA said.

The LRTA Board of Directors is chaired by the secretary of the Department of Transportation. Its members include the heads of the Departments of Public Works and Highways, Budget and Management, Finance and the National Economic and Development Authority.

The board is also made up of the LTFRB and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority. There are two appointive directors: LRTA administrator Hernando Cabrera and Dimapuno Datu from the private sector.

“The approval of the LTFRB on the subject of fare increase is in the nature of the agency being a member of the LRTA board, and not in the nature of a regulatory body. The LTFRB is just one of the nine members of the LRTA board of directors,” the LRTA explained.

Since 2015, the LRTA said both rail lines have maintained boarding fare at P11 and distance fare at P1.

The current boarding fee for a single-journey ticket at both the LRT-1 and LRT-2 costs P15, and will increase from P20 to P30 depending on the distance once the fare hike is implemented.

For stored-value tickets, the base fare is P11.

The LRTA said it is pushing to increase fares at both LRT-1 and LRT-2 to raise funding for their operations and maintenance.

Last year, the Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), which operates the LRT-1 under the regulation of LRTA, filed an arbitration case against the government.

The Pangilinan-led firm wants to get at least P2.67 billion in compensation, resulting from the delays in fare adjustments it sought in 2016, 2018 and 2020.

The LRMC said it would implement the fare hike to be approved by the government regulators.

Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) slammed the LTFRB’s approval of the fare hike petition for the LRT-1 and LRT-2.

Bayan said no hearings nor public consulatations were held before the LTFRB approved the fare increases. – Elizabeth Marcelo

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