Both the Metro Rail Transit Corp. (MRTC) and the Light Railways Transit Authority (LRTA) are all set for Thursday’s public consultation on the planned fare increase in the country’s mass rail systems.
LRTA spokesman Hernando Cabrera said everybody is welcome to attend the consultation which will be held at the LRT Line 2 depot in Santolan, Pasig City. Registration starts 1:00 p.m., while the public consultation proper will commence at 2:00 p.m.
Cabrera said rail authorities will propose an “11 + 1” fare increase, which means that a passenger will be charged a base fare of P 11 and will have to pay P 1 for every kilometer of travel.
In the case of LRT Line 2, which runs from Santolan station in Pasig City to Recto station in Manila, the rail system has 11 stations with a total length of 13.8 kilometers. At present, from end-to-end passenger pays P 15.
If the proposed fare hike is approved, an end-to-end passenger will be charged P 11 as base fare plus P 13.80 for the total distance of 13.8 kilometers which totals P 24.80 or roughly P 25.
He said they are also expecting worst case scenarios from militant groups who vowed to block the impending fare increase at all cost.
“We expect that they (militant groups) will stage a walk out as a gesture of disapproval to the fare increase,” Cabrera said.
He said once the consultation is over, they will submit a report to the Board which will decide on the matter. The Board consists of the heads of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Department of Finance (DoF), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), the National Economic Development Authority (Neda), and representatives of the private sector.
The Board will then hand their decision to the DoTC which will issue a Department Order which will either contain the fare increase or a status quo on the fare.
If the DoTC approves of the fare hike, Cabrera said the transport agency will come out with a fare matrix that will be published in major dailies. The fare increase will be implemented after 15 days.
“So, most likely next year na ang fare adjustment, kung meron man. Depende talaga yan sa mapagkakasunduan bukas (Thursday) sa public consultation and if the Board will approve it,” Cabrera added. PNA