MRT-3 to file petition for fare hike anew

Ghio Ong - The Philippine Star
MRT-3 to file petition for fare hike anew
Commuters enter the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 in Taft Avenue station last May 2022
The STAR / Jesse Bustos, File

MANILA, Philippines — The management of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) will refile its petition for a fare increase within the week.

An additional P2.29 boarding fare and P0.21 distance fare are being sought by the MRT-3.

If approved, the minimum fare for MRT-3 will increase to P16 from P13. The point-to-point travel cost from North Avenue to Taft Avenue station will go up to P34 from P28.

Transport Assistant Secretary Jorjette Aquino yesterday said that MRT-3’s earlier petition was denied due to “technicalities.”

Aquino, concurrent officer-in-charge of the MRT-3, noted that similar petitions filed by the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 were approved earlier this year.

The last time the MRT-3 adjusted its fares was in 2015.

Aquino reiterated that the MRT-3 needs more revenue to fund its maintenance.

While P1.9 billion has been collected from passengers from January to October this year – higher than last year’s P1.2 billion – the MRT-3 suffers a P6.2-billion deficit, she pointed out.

The additional revenue from the fare hike – estimated at P55 million every year – will “provide financial support for the Department of Transportation (DOTr), which will ease pressure from the national government to increase subsidy for the MRT-3, according to Aquino.

She explained that the government subsidizes a large portion of the fare for each passenger, so the additional revenue would also lessen the subsidy that comes from the DOTr’s budget.

“A passenger using the MRT-3 point-to-point must supposedly pay P69 but pays only P28. So the government subsidizes the remaining P41,” she said.

According to Aquino, MRT-3 is planning to reconfigure its coaches from a three-car to a four-car train set to accommodate more commuters.

Aside from improved signaling and communication systems, a “pocket track” is also being eyed at Taft Avenue station.

EDSA Carousel

Meanwhile, fewer motorists are passing through the EDSA bus lane following the implementation of heftier fines last month.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) reported that around 60 violators were accosted last week.

As of yesterday, 29 motorists had been apprehended for the unauthorized use of the EDSA Carousel.

The EDSA busway is reserved for city buses, police cars and emergency vehicles such as ambulances and fire trucks.

The convoys of the President, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives and Chief Justice are allowed to use the bus lane.

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