Are you ready for it? Are we?
A few days ago, as everyone was busy with the Christmas rush, MRT announced that it shall be implementing a fare hike effective January 2015.
The MRT has been trying to implement a fare hike many years back to cut down costs on government subsidies. Basically to raise more revenues, which shall be used to finance its obviously long delayed improvement and rehabilitation.
We all know that the train system is in dire need of rehabilitation and maintenance as seen in the weekly news of break downs, minor repairs, and worse freak accidents. Likewise, it has been operating way beyond its intended capacity as manifested by long queueing times as well as delayed and jampacked trains.
There’s a push and pull between government agencies and the commuting public as to when to implement a fare hike. But eventually, someone’s got to give in. Or better yet a compromise.
The government argues that it needs the extra funds to be able to improve the system further. Likewise, some new trains are expected to arrive at various parts of 2015 to supposedly improve the service. The public meanwhile is not too keen on a fare hike as they want to see the improvements first before paying for it. So who shall win?
Below is the new fare matrix posted in Cubao station which shall take effect on January 2015.
Compared to existing fares now, where the minimum is PHP10 while the maximum is PHP14, the revised matrix shows fares have significantly increased with the minimum now at PHP13 while the maximum is as high as PHP28. Almost double!
At first glance I was surprised to see the new fare matrix. Personally, I am am open to an increase in the MRT fares as it is still a faster commute compared to buses charging PHP11 to PHP22. But I did not expect a very high revised fare. Was hoping for some amount in between.
Higher fares will likewise decongest the trains a bit but people may just flock to EDSA to ride buses instead and bottomline is, the public still suffers.
How about you? Are you ready for it?
I see a long push and pull once again as groups will try to lobby and perhaps secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implementation. Or is this our government trying to show political will for unpopular but necessary changes?
Above is just for MRT. I heard LRT 1 and LRT 2 shall be increasing its fares as well.