Fare hike for LRT-1, LRT-2 looms  

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
Fare hike for LRT-1, LRT-2 looms  
Guidelines for commuters who want to carry their pet dogs and cats on the Light Rail Transit are posted at the LRT 2 station along Recto Avenue in Manila yesterday.
Ernie Peñaredondo

MANILA, Philippines — Six of nine members of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) board have approved a petition to increase fares for the LRT Lines 1 and 2, an official disclosed yesterday.

Among those who approved the fare hike petition were appointive directors LRTA administrator Hernando Cabrera and Dimapuno Datu from the private sector.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Department of Public Works and Highways also approved the petition.

Cabrera said the LRTA board is still waiting for response from three more board members: Department of Finance, Department of Budget and Management as well as the National Economic and Development Authority.

The LRTA has asked the government to adjust fare rates for the LRT-1 and LRT-2 by P2.29 for the boarding fee and by P0.21 for every kilometer, for a total base fare of P13.29.

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

The current boarding fee for a single-journey ticket at both the LRT-1 and LRT-2 costs P15. It 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 last fare hike for the LRT-1 and LRT-2 was in 2015. Ever since, talagang kulang ang kita, halos break even lang in terms of expenses for the maintenance, operation, upgrading and rehabilitation,” Cabrera said.

He pointed out that the LRTA relies on subsidy from the government to keep afloat.

“We want to rationalize the fares compared to other  modes of transportation para mabawasan ang subsidy na binibigay ng national government,” Cabrera said.

The DOTr will conduct a public hearing on the proposed fare hike for the LRT-1 and LRT-2 on Feb. 17.

It is unclear if the public consultation will include the fare increase sought by the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3).

According to earlier reports, the MRT-3 management asked the DOTr to increase train fares by P4 to P6.

The state-owned rail line had reportedly suffered over P7.8 billion in losses as of November last year.

Advocacy group The Passenger Forum opposed the proposed fare increases for the three rail lines, saying the government should provide more subsidies and not let commuters suffer the burden.

The group also asked the Marcos administration to review the concession agreement between the government and Light Rail Manila Corp., the private operator of the LRT-1.

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