The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has extended the free rides on the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 until June 30, 2022 throughout the railway’s operating hours from 4:40AM to 10:10PM.
The MRT3 free ride program has benefited 15,730,000 passengers from March 28 to May 24, 2022, with P286 million in foregone revenues, according to OIC General Manager Michael Capati.
DOTr started the free ride program on March 28 and extended it for one month.
It was supposed to end May 30 but the agency decided to extend it until the end of the current administration to assist more commuters affected by the soaring prices of fuel and basic commodities.
It will be up to the next administration if they want to extend the free MRT ride program further, DOTr officials told reporters in a virtual briefing held Wednesday, May 25.
MRT3 took the P286 million foregone revenues from its General Appropriations Act (GAA) subsidy which totals P7.1 Billion.
However, Light Rail Transit (LRT)1 and LRT2 as well as the Philippine National Railways (PNR) are “not in a position to give free rides like MRT 3”, DOTr officials clarified.
LRT1 has a private operator , LRMC, and is governed by a concession agreement.
LRT2 has its own financial programs and subsidies from the GAA.
PNR trains run on diesel and its operations had been affected by volatile fuel prices.
“We can’t give rides for free because we can’t ask for additional subsidies,” PNR General Manager Jun Magno told reporters.
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