Commuters will face fare hikes for the MRT and LRT beginning January 4.
The Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) has finally set the date for implementing the P 11.00 (base fare) + P 1.00 (per kilometer) formula for fares at the Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 (LRT-1 and LRT-2) and the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) after several years of deferring its implementation.
“It’s a tough decision, but it had to be made. It’s been several years since an increase was proposed. We delayed its implementation one last time until after the Christmas season. While 2015 will see increased fares, it will also see marked improvements in our LRT and MRT services,” said DOTC Secretary Jun Abaya.
Despite inflation and rising operational costs over the years, the last fare increase for LRT-1 was in 2003. LRT-2’s fares, on the other hand, have never been increased.
For MRT-3, not only have its fares never been increased, they were in fact lowered: from the original range of P 17.00 to P 34.00 in 1999, fares were decreased toP 12.00 to P 20.00 in 2000. Currently, it is even lower at a range of P 10.00 to P15.00.
A single journey LRT-1 trip from Roosevelt to Baclaran would be P30, from P20, while a single journey LRT-2 trip from Recto to Santolan would cost P25-pesos, from P15.
“We’re going to shift to a distance-based system which means that passengers will pay their fare based on distance they traveled. The net effect will be a range of around 12 pesos to about 28, 29 pesos for the longest trips on LRT and MRT,” says DOTC Spokesperson Migs Sagcal
The last time fares for LRT-1 went up was in 2003, while fares for LRT-2 have never been increased since it opened 11 years ago.
Meanwhile, since the MRT-3 opened in 1999, its fares were cut twice.
“We want to improve the services. The current fare structures currently permit enough budget, enough revenues for day-to-day operations of all three lines. While we are increasing the fares and while commuters might not be happy about it, we will deliver on the promise of improvements and the facilities and services,” Sagcal says.
The DOTC says, government is currently funding some improvements in the train systems, including rail replacements for LRT-1 and MRT-3.
Authorities also plan to repair and install new elevators and escalators at the train stations.
The new fares are set out in Department Order No. 2014-014 which was published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and the Philippine Star today, December 20. This is based on the approval and recommendation of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA), with due concurrence of the Land Transportation Franchising & Regulatory Board (LTFRB). The MRT-3 Office likewise proposed a similar increase.