THE Department of Transportation said on Monday it is reviewing the planned 10-percent fare hike at the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Line 1 this month.
“The 10-percent fare hike is stipulated in the agreement. We will respect the contract, but we will have a dialogue with [Light Rail Manila Corp.],” Cherie Mercado, DOTr spokesperson told reporters in a briefing.
In October 2014, LRMC won a 32-year contract to operate and maintain the existing LRT1 and construct an 11.7-kilometer extension from the Baclaran endpoint all the way to the Niog area in Bacoor, Cavite.
A total of eight new stations will be built along this route, which traverses the cities of Parañaque, Las Piñas and Bacoor.
“There won’t be an LRT fare hike until the government has spoken with the concessionaire,” she said, adding there will be a meeting with LRMC this week to review the terms of the contract.
At present, the fare for the LRT1 is P30 for single journey and P29 for stored value tickets when travelling end-to-end or from Roosevelt Avenue in Quezon City to the Baclaran station in Pasay City.
Mercado added that fare hike will depend on the improvement of the service at LRT1.
Meanwhile, LRMC said elevators and escalators at two passenger stations of LRT are now back in operation, following the issuance of permits to operate by the city governments of Manila and Pasay.
LRMC said six escalators and two elevators at the Doroteo Jose Station and two elevators at the Edsa Station are among the 32 lifts already rehabilitated in partnership with original equipment manufacturers Schindler and Otis.
The company is optimistic that the lifts in Roosevelt, Balintawak, and Monumento stations will likewise be granted permits to operate in the next few months for the convenience of the average 400,000 commuters along the LRT 1.
The restored elevators and escalators also include upgrades incorporating PWD-compliant features such as Braille buttons, accessibility of location of the controls to persons in wheelchairs, among others.
Since taking over the concession last September 2015, LRMC has been undertaking system improvements in LRT 1 such as the repair of light rail vehicles, rail replacements, deployment of additional manpower, and improvement of the stations’ lighting for the safety and better visibility of passengers.
Earlier, LRMC announced the improvements of LRT 1 passenger stations in preparation for the delivery of new trains from the DOTr and Light Rail Transit Authority.
All 20 passenger stations of the existing LRT 1 system will be improved to enhance accessibility, safety, and security of commuters.
LRMC is the joint venture of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. and Ayala’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corp. and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd.