ADMITTEDLY, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) must increase fares in order to keep them financially viable.
But everybody agrees that any fare hike must be at a level that commuters, who are mostly students and ordinary workers, can absorb.
And the proposed MRT-3 fare next year is meant to reduce government subsidy, with the surplus funds to be used in other government projects.
No fare adjustment was approved for MRT-3 for the last eight years. The other lines – LRT 1 and LRT 2 – implemented fare hikes last August 2.
LRT 1 runs from Baclaran, Paranaque City to Fernando Poe Jr Station in Quezon City, while LRT 2 runs from Antipolo City to Recto Avenue in Manila.
Undersecretary Timothy John Batan of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) stressed that “we will not increase fares without reason.”
Batan said the fare adjustment “is based on the maintenance and operations cost and to reduce government subsidy.”
Batan also emphasized that the government subsidy “is still substantial.’
This is an ample proof that the state is willing to absorb part of the burden in keeping with its mandate to provide basic social services to the people.
And there’s no specific date yet for the MRT 3 fare adjustment.
“We will not rush its implementation,” Batan assured.