Latest LRT fare hike to PHP 15 minimum approved, but implementation has been deferred

The fare for taking the LRT-1 and 2 were slated to increase yesterday. That did not push through, though, as PBBM has ordered that the implementation be deferred to a later date. “Pending a thorough study on the economic impact”, the train-commuting public has a reprieve before they start having to pay more for their travels.

LRT fare pushes to PHP 15 minimum

Lrt 1 Lrt 2 Fare Hike April 2023 Deferred Inline 01 Min

Photo: DOTr

The latest hike will see PHP 2.29 added to the boarding fare and PHP 0.21 to the distance fare. That equates to a minimum of PHP 15 and a maximum of PHP 35 for both LRT lines via a single journey ticket, a minimum of PHP 14 and a maximum of PHP 35 for Line 1 stored value cards, and a minimum of PHP 14 and a maximum of PHP 33 for Line 2 stored value cards.

According to the DOTr (Department of Transportation), the last approved fare hike for rail lines LRT-2 and MRT-3 was back in 2015. LRT-1 which was privatized in 2015, on the other hand, has filed petitions for fare adjustments in 2016, 2018, 2020, and 2022, all of which were deferred according to DOTr Secretary Jaime Bautista. The DOTr’s Rail Regulatory Unit (RRU) endorsed the report favoring the fare increase for LRT lines 1 and 2. The DOTr Secretary chairs the RRU and has the power to deny or approve proposed fare adjustments.

Lrt 1 Lrt 2 Fare Hike April 2023 Deferred Inline 02 Min

Photo: DOTr

“The fare increase will enable the two rail lines to improve their services, facilities, and technical capabilities. The fare adjustment will help sustain the two commuter rail lines’ affordable mass transport services,” said Bautista.

“In compliance with the President’s instruction, we will thoroughly study how a fare hike today will impact on passengers of our three rail lines in Metro Manila due to infirmities in complying with the requirements and procedure,” the transport chief later said regarding the President’s order to defer the fare hike’s implementation, adding that the increase for MRT-3 was likewise deferred.

Lrt 1 Lrt 2 Fare Hike April 2023 Deferred Inline 03 Min

Photo: Light Rail Transit Authority

As it stands, the DOTr sees a few more months before the new fares will be applied. “We will work with the NEDA (National Economic and Development Authority) on this, and after that, report to the LRTA board, so siguro (maybe) it will take a few months,” said Bautista.

Everyone’s feeling the pinch despite the economists stating that inflation has gone down by a few notches. On one hand, those operating the LRT need the money to keep the service safe, active, and usable. On the other hand, we have commuters who will have to fork more money over just to get to where they need to go to earn more money.

We do hope this gets to be studied and reviewed more and better if only to benefit all Filipinos involved.

Mikko Juangco
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