Manila, Philippines — The Rail Transit (LRT) system’s Line 1 and Line 2 will see fare adjustments approved by the Department of Transportation (DOTr). Starting August 2, daily commuters on both lines will have to pay more for their rides. DOTr Secretary Jaime J. Bautista cited several reasons for the decision, including an improving economic growth rate, a decline in the headline inflation rate, and an increase in employment figures.
The matter was discussed during a Cabinet meeting on June 6 and later with Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Hernando Cabrera and Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) President and Chief Executive Officer Juan Alfonso on June 13.
For quite some time, the increase in fare prices has been a topic of discussion among the public. In the past, there was even a petition filed to raise more funds for maintenance and operational costs. However, President Marcos recently directed the DOTr to hold off on any fare adjustments and reassess the potential economic impact on commuters.
Before this directive, the DOTr’s Rail Regulatory Unit had approved petitions to increase train boarding fees by P2.29 along with an additional 21 centavos per kilometer traveled on the LRT-1 and LRT-2. This would have resulted in the minimum boarding fee increasing from P11 to P13.29 for LRT-1 and LRT-2, as well as a rise from P1 to P1.21 per kilometer traveled.
Following the guidelines set by the RRU, LRTA, and LRMC, the approved fare adjustments will be published for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation. These publications will take place on June 19, June 26, and July 3. Commuters will then have 30 days to prepare for the implementation of the new rates.
Jorjette B. Aquino, the DOTr Assistant Secretary for Railways, is optimistic that the fare adjustment will lead to an improvement in services, amenities, and technical capacities of LRT-1 and LRT-2. She stated, “With this fare adjustment, we are committed to making our rail services more accessible, convenient, and efficient for our commuters. As part of our efforts to maintain affordable mass transportation services, the DOTr firmly believes that this change is necessary.”
In an announcement made by DOTr Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, it was revealed that the fare increase for LRT-1 and LRT-2 has been approved. According to Undersecretary Timothy John R. Batan and Light Rail Transit Authority Administrator Reynaldo Berroya, this latest development will pave the way for significant improvements in public transportation infrastructure in the Philippines. In addition, LRT-1 General Manager Enrico R. Benipayo explained that the fare hike will enable the allocation of around P110 million, which is 97 percent of the projected P114 million additional rail revenues.
The funds will be used for crucial rail system repairs, upkeep, and maintenance, as well as timely preventive maintenance activities to ensure optimal performance. The DOTr believes that this move will contribute to maintaining affordable mass transportation services, and implementation of these new rates is set for August 2, 2023.