THE Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) is projecting a four-percent decline in ridership for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and Line 2 and Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) because of fare increases implemented on January 4.
LRTA officials, however, said the number of passengers riding the three rail systems has not gone down.
“No decrease [on the average number of daily passengers]for all [the three railways], although we were projecting four percent [decline],” LRTA Administrator Honorito Chaneco said over the weekend.
He added that it is too early to say if the fare adjustment have had any effect on rail ridership.
Based on government data, LRT 1 carries an average of 500,000 commuters daily, while LRT 2 serves close to 200,000 passengers daily.
The average daily ridership for MRT 3 is over 560,000, and its highest single-day passenger count was 620,000.
Several groups have challenged the legality of the fare increases before the Supreme Court, claiming that Transportation Secretary Emilio Abaya has no authority to adjust fares.
The government claimed that the fare increases will raise P2 billion in additional funds that could be used for development projects and relief operations.
The Department of Transportation and Communications said rail commuters can expect better services this year since a number of rehabilitation and upgrading works will be implemented, including acquisition of additional coaches.