19 June 2023
𝐑𝐀𝐈𝐋 𝐍𝐄𝐖𝐒: 𝐋𝐑𝐓 𝐅𝐀𝐑𝐄 𝐀𝐃𝐉𝐔𝐒𝐓𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓 𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐘 𝐓𝐎 𝐁𝐄 𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐋𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐍𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐀𝐒 𝐏𝐇 𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐍𝐎𝐌𝐘 𝐑𝐄𝐂𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐒
The fare adjustment for the Light Rail Transit’s (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 is now ready to be implemented with the economy’s improving growth rate and employment figures and the country’s declining headline inflation rate.
Transportation Secretary Jaime J. Bautista approved the implementation of the approved fare adjustment following a cabinet meeting in Malacañang on June 6, according to Assistant Secretary for Railways Jorjette B. Aquino.
In that Cabinet meeting, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. made an encouraging announcement that “our headline inflation rate has gone down from the former 6.6% to 6.1% and our employment figures are also improving.”
On June 13, Sec. Bautista met with Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) Administrator Hernando Cabrera and Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) President and Chief Executive Officer Juan Alfonso to inform them of the decision to implement the approved fare increase.
“Lumalaki at sumisigla ang ating ekonomiya. Kaya’t mukhang tama ang ating ginagawa. Ipagpatuloy natin ang ginagawa natin para naman makita natin na bumalik tayo sa magandang sitwasyon ulit,” Marcos said in a video recorded message.
In a statement, Asec. Aquino said the fare adjustment is set to enhance the services, amenities, and technical capacities of the LRT-1 and LRT-2 in line with the government’s agenda to improve public transport infrastructure.
“We are aiming to make our rail services more accessible, convenient, and efficient for commuters,” Asec. Aquino said.
“We at the Department of Transportation (DOTr) believe that this fare adjustment will contribute to maintaining affordable mass transportation services for the two commuter-train lines,” she added.
The DOTr’s Rail Regulatory Unit (RRU) had previously approved the petitions seeking to increase the train boarding fee by P2.29 with an additional 21 centavos for every kilometer travelled at the LRT-1 and LRT-2.
With this, the LRT-1 and LRT-2’s minimum boarding fee would be adjusted to P13.29 (originally P11) and P1.21 per kilometer for every kilometer travelled (originally P1 per kilometer).
But on April 11, 2023, President Marcos directed the DOTr to defer the fare adjustment and reassess its economic impact on the riding public should government increase rail fares at the time.
With the fare adjustment, Asec. Aquino said the LRTA is eyeing to allocate about P110 million, which accounts for 97 percent of the projected P114 million additional rail revenues, for maintenance, operating expenses, and the much-needed repair and upkeep of crucial rail systems and facilities.
This will improve the turnaround time of equipment and ensure timely preventive maintenance activities for optimal performance, the rail official said.
The LRTA and LRMC are set to publish the approved fare adjustments in at least one newspaper of general circulation for three consecutive weeks, in compliance with the rules and regulations of the RRU.
Asec. Aquino noted the following publication dates: June 19, June 26 and July 3.
“After which, 30 days after the last publication date will be the collection date—August 2,” the transport official said.