Casiño: Instead of increasing fare, MRT should increase its capacity

PARTY list Rep. Teddy Casiño (Bayan Muna) today continued to suggest ways to stop the P10 MRT fare hike and shield commuters from another burden.

“To date there are a total of 73 Light Railway Vehicles (LRVs) in operation.  Each LRV has three trains or couches running at least three minutes apart. Now there are approximately 450,000 riders per day but its design is just for 300,000 to 350,000 riders per day,” said the solon.

“What can be done here is to add another set of 73 LRVs, but this time each LRV would have 4 trains or couches running two minutes apart. This would increase MRT3’s capacity to 600,000 to 700,000 riders per day. If this is still not possible though another couch can be added to the existing LRVs to increase the MRT3’s capacity by 150,000,” Casiño explained.

“With the additional coaches it would be more comfortable for riders especially during rush hour and more riders can be accommodated at a shorter time. This would inevitably lead to higher income for the MRT system without increasing the fare,” the Makabayan senatorial bet added.

Among the other options Casiño suggested to stop the MRT fare increase are:

1. Conduct a comprehensive review on the way system is run towards making it more efficient, removing unnecessary perks and bonuses to management, and correcting onerous loan and business arrangements entered into during the previous administration;

2. Ask malls and big business establishments along the train routes to contribute to a subsidy fund as part of their service to their buying public;

3. Ask local government units (LGUs) along the train route to contribute to the subsidy since they directly benefit from the MRT.

“Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) Sec. Joseph Abaya should not forget that the purpose of constructing mass transit systems is to provide the public with cheap transportation services. The administration should instead seriously consider these options to help subsidize the MRT mass transit system instead of resorting to fare hikes,” Casiño said.

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