Looming MRT, LRT fare hike ‘insensitive’, ‘unwarranted’ – Bayan Muna
Party-list group Bayan Muna slammed the possible P5- to P7-fare hike for the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) and Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), saying it is not only “gravely and greedily insensitive” but also “grossly unwarranted”.
“Dagdag pasanin na naman ito sa ating hirap nang mamamayan at dapat na tutulan,” Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said in a message on Wednesday.
Zarate said the proposal of the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) is another reason to repel the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law. He added that revenues of LRT and MRT have always been bigger than its operational expenses.
“For example, MRT earned P2.2 billion on ticket sales and only spent P1.8 billion in operational expense in 2014. LRT, meanwhile, earned P2.5 billion but only spent P1.03 billion for operation expense in the same period,” Zarate noted.
“They (rail systems) should be made to absorb the supposed impact of TRAIN and not pass it on to the already overburdened and overtaxed riding public,” Zarate added.
The lawmaker also called on the Supreme Court (SC) to act on the case they filed years ago against the legal basis of LRT and MRT fare rates.
“We are also calling on the Supreme Court to already expedite the decision on the 2015 case filed by Bayan Muna and commuters’ group questioning the legal basis of fare rates imposed by the MRT and LRT rail systems,” he said.
Acording to Zarate, train fare increases since 2014 have contradicted the state of the rail systems, pointing out that train services have worsened.
“The former DOTC officials in the past administration pushed for a fare hike on the light rail systems in December 2014, saying that this is geared to improve the services of MRT and LRT,” Zarate said.
“But instead of improving the services, for instance, the MRT service worsened with three to four daily glitches, with some even endangering the lives of passengers,” he further stressed. /kga
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