MANILA — The Palace has appealed for more patience from the public, saying the increase in MRT and LRT fares would mean better services and facilities.
In a press briefing in Malacañang on Tuesday, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. laid out the projects to be carried out for the improvement of the MRT and LRT and their corresponding timetables.
“Ipinapakita po natin ito upang ipaliwanag at ipaunawa sa ating mga mamamayan ang konteksto ng pinag-uusapan din ngayon hinggil sa pagbago ng sistema ng pagsingil na ‘yung pagdadagdag ng singil sa pamasahe, kasabay naman nito ‘yung seryosong programa sa pagpapahusay at pagpapabuti ng mga pasilidad ng MRT at LRT (We are sharing this with everyone in order to explain and understand the context in which the changes in the collection system in the form of the fare hike, together with major programs to improve the MRT and LRT facilities),” Coloma said in a brief presentation.
“Kaya’t hinihiling po natin ang pag-unawa ng ating mga mamamayan sa mga kasalukuyang kaganapan (That’s why we are asking for everyone to bear with us on the current situation).”
Coloma said the most important part of the project is the MRT capacity expansion.
“Simula sa Setyembre ng taong ito, madagdagan ng 48 coaches o bagon ang MRT. Pagkatapos makumpleto ito, dadami ang biyahe at iikli ang panahon ng paghihintay. Binibigyan din ng prayoridad ang rail installation o pagpapalit ng riles (Starting September this year, 48 coaches will be added to MRT. Once this is completed, there will be more trips and the waiting time will also be lessened. Rail installation will also be prioritized),” he said.
Also part of the project, he said, is the upgrade of the MRT’s ancillary systems, such as the power substations, depot facilities for parking, the construction of the North Avenue turn back and Taft Avenue pocket track extension, the upgrade of the signaling system, the overhaul of 25 light rail vehicles and traction motors, and the installation of a new radio communications system.
Most of these will be carried out starting February, while the process of obtaining the necessary services has begun, he said.
“Ina-announce pa kasi muna ang pagdaraos ng public bidding, pagkatapos ang pagdaraos mismo ng bidding, ang proseso ng pag-a-award at publication (The announcement of the public bidding should be done first, then after the actual bidding is the process of awarding and publication),” he explained.
The MRT and LRT fares on Sunday were raised by 50 percent to 87 percent. The new base fare is P11, with an additional P1 for every kilometer. End-to-end fare for MRT 3 increased from P15 to P28.
The fares for LRT 1 were raised from P20 to P30 for single-journey tickets and to P29 for stored-value cards, while those for LRT 2 increased from P15 to P25 for single-journey tickets and to P24 for stored-value cards.