Tugade rules out LRT, MRT fare hike

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TRAFFIC WOES Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade expounds on the plans of his department during a Senate hearing Wednesday. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

TRAFFIC WOES Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade expounds on the plans of his department during a Senate hearing Wednesday. PHOTO BY RENE H. DILAN

TRANSPORTATION Secretary Arthur Tugade gave assurances on Wednesday that fares at the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) and Light Rail Transit (LRT) will not be raised until services have been improved.

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He also said tolls in any of the expressways will not be increased.

Speaking during the Senate hearing on proposed emergency powers for President Rodrigo Duterte, Tugade told senators that rail fare hikes will hinge on the improvement of services.

“I already told the management that any rail rate increases are totally not acceptable to me. We would look silly if we allow a fare increase amid the problems hounding the LRT,” Tugade said when asked by Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto if the Department of Transportation is inclined to grant the petition of the private operators of LRT to raise fare by 10 percent.

Tugade stressed that there are no plans to raise MRT fares because of its poor service.
Recto agreed that train services should first be improved before the government can agree to any fare increase.

On the operation of expressways, Tugade said his department plans to synchronize toll systems to speed up the payment process at toll gates.

There are at present three operating systems for toll collection.

“Based on our initial study, we could cut the waiting time on tollgates by 10 to 15 minutes,” Tugade said.

The Transportation department last implemented MRT and LRT fare increases in 2015 wherein end-to-end trips in MRT-3 (from North Avenue to Taft Avenue and vice versa) was raised to P28 from P15 while fares at LRT line 1 (Baclaran to Roosevelt and vice versa) were increased to P30 from P20 and P25 from P15 at LRT-2 (from Recto to Santolan and vice versa).

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