Malacañang: No fare hikes yet for MRT, LRT

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Good news for commuters: There will be no fare increases for now for the Metro Rail Transit 3 (MRT 3) and Light Rail Transit 1 (LRT 1) and LRT 2, Malacañang announced on Tuesday.

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Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said there is no decision yet for the implementation of the fare raises as a public consultation will still be conducted by stakeholders.

In December last year, the Department of Transportation and Communications held public consultations on a proposed fare hike, which was met with strong opposition from militant and consumer groups.

The Light Rail Transit Authority approved in June a fare increase of P10 for the three light rail systems in Metro Manila.

The increase, which was also endorsed by President Benigno Aquino 3rd in his fourth State of the Nation Address, was eyed to be implemented on staggered basis: P5 in 2013, and another P5 this year.

The 2013 tranche was pushed back because of the public consultations.

Aquino has said the fare increase was needed to cut government subsidies for the train lines.

This move, he added, will free up more funds that may be used for the maintenance of the railway systems, and for government social services.

If finally imposed, the increase would be the first in a decade.

Coloma gave assurances that the government will do all it can to protect the welfare of citizens.

“The welfare of commuters is always the government’s concern,” he said.

The current fare at MRT 3, which runs along Edsa from Taft Avenue in Pasay City to North Avenue in Quezon City, is P15 maximum per passenger.

Passengers taking LRT 1 (from Baclaran in Parañaque City to Balintawak in Quezon City) are charged up to P20, while those riding LRT 2 (from Recto in Manila to Santolan in Pasig City) are charged up to P15.

The proposed fare increase will bring the fares at MRT to P28, LRT 1 to P29 and LRT 2 to P24.

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