In lieu of fare hike, Casiño suggests other ways to increase MRT revenues

REACTING to the planned P10 metro rail transit fare hike announced by newly appointed DOTC secretary Joseph Abaya, party list representative Teddy Casiño today insisted that there are other options to increase the MRT’s revenues without burdening commuters.

“Sec. Abaya’s justification for hiking MRT 3 fares defeats the purpose of constructing mass transit systems which is to provide the public with cheap transportation services. The administration should instead seriously consider other viable options to help subsidize the MRT mass transit system instead of resorting to fare hikes.” said the lawmaker

Some options for government to keep the MRT fares low:

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. Add trains to increase passenger revenue and encourage more people to ride the train to work by, among other things, building bike parking facilities so that people can ride their bikes to and from the train terminals;

3. 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;

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

“The administration must note that the MRT also benefits the private companies and government agencies whose employees use it to get to their workplaces. It benefits the mall owners and vendors that have sprouted in its terminals. It benefits the motorists for reducing traffic volume on our highways. It benefits the power sector. It benefits the environment through lower carbon emissions. This is the holistic view that tells us that subsidizing the system is advantageous,” Casiño said.

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