LRTA: No rush for fare hike approval

Ghio Ong, Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
LRTA: No rush for fare hike approval
Commuters are seen riding coaches of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) at various stations in Manila on January 12, 2023.
STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — There is no need to rush the approval of a petition for fare increases for the Light Rail Transit-1 and LRT-2, an official said yesterday.

Hernando Cabrera, administrator of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) that operates the LRT-2, said the fare hike request must go through the regulatory process such as public consultations.

Out of the nine members of the LRTA board, only Cabrera, a board member from the private sector and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) have approved the fare increase.

Cabrera assured the public that both the LRT-1 and LRT-2 would not implement fare increases without the approval of the majority of the LRTA board.

In a resolution released last week, 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.

If the LRTA board approves the fare adjustment, the new boarding fee will become P13.29 while the distance fee will increase to P1.21 per kilometer for both lines.

To date, fares in the LRT-2 for single-journey tickets range between P15 and P30 depending on the distance. The base fare for stored-value or reloadable tickets is P11.

Activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan has called on the Department of Transportation to junk the LTFRB’s resolution approving fare increases for the LRT-1 and LRT-2.

“There is no other recourse at this point but to deny the fare increase given the current inflation rate and the infirmities in the concession agreement with the private operator LRMC (Light Rail Manila Corp.),” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said.

The group asked why the LRT-2, which is funded by the government, was included in the fare increase given that the petitioner LRMC operates only the LRT-1.

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