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Michelle Pauline Reyes



Member since June 11, 2013


    A long-overdue fare increase at Metro Manila’s three elevated rail systems could take effect as early as August as the government seeks to recover part of its operating costs from the heavily subsidized train lines, according to Secretary Joseph Abaya of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC). But Abaya said in a round-table discussion with INQUIRER editors and reporters on Wednesday that the planned P10 average increase for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) Line 3 would be done in two equal stages through 2014. This means fares, which were last adjusted in the early 2000s, will increase by P5 in 2013 while the second P5 increase will kick in next year. “This increase has been long delayed so we are about to execute it. The matrix for LRT 1 requires us to catch up,” Abaya said. “It was discussed a year ago in the budget hearing and it was taken as a set, all three railway lines,” he added. “It should happen planning-wise in August or within the year.” The announcement of the fare increases comes amid severe criticism of the LRT-MRT operations—coaches with passengers woefully packed like sardines most times of the day and long queues to the stations during rush hours. For example, MRT 3 was designed to serve 350,000 passengers per day, but some 600,000 people cram the system daily. A 1.3-kilometer stretch of the line on north Edsa—from Muño...