LRT 1 operator asks DOTr for P5 to P7 fare increase
Fares for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 may go up by P5 to P7 possibly in August should a petition filed by its operator, the Light Rail Management Corp. (LRMC), be approved by the Department of Transportation (DOTr).
In a press conference on Tuesday, LRMC Chair Juan Alfonso said that a fare hike would allow the company to maintain its quality of service as it had already spent P8 billion on improvements alone since it took over as private contractor for the train line in 2014.
Currently, LRT Line 1 fares range from a minimum of P15 and P30 for end-to-end rides. Should the hike petition be approved, the minimum fare could go up to P18 and the maximum fare to P37, said Maricar Gamboa, LRMC spokesperson.
Under the concession agreement it signed with the government, the LRMC would operate and maintain the existing LRT 1 line as well as construct the P65-billion, 11.7-km extension project from Baclaran station to Bacoor, Cavite province.
To justify the hike, Alfonso said the LRT 1 remained one of the more accessible modes of transport to the riding public, being faster and cheaper than buses and taxis.
Transport Undersecretary for Rails Timothy James Batan explained that under the concession agreement, the LRMC could apply for a fare adjustment every two years. The next one is set in August.
Batan said the petition was currently being evaluated by the DOTr. But he clarified that the hike implementation could go two ways: the government could subsidize the increase or pass it on to commuters.
Batan added that the fare increase’s impact on LRT 1 passengers were of “primary consideration” to the DOTr.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.