THE insistence of government to continue its fragmented approach in handling the MRT will not solve the train system’s problems. Continuing this piece-wise privatization and hands-off attitude in such a tightly-integrated system is one of the causes of the increasing breakdowns. Engineers from the scientist group AGHAM, Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, calculated that the MRT train line experiences around 3.48 injuries for every 100 million passenger-miles, compared to the US which has 0.7 injuries.
AGHAM also notes that based on the data given by the DOTC, the monthly average of service interruptions has been increasing. In 2013, it was 2.83 interruptions per month, increasing to around 4 as of July 2014 and 4.3 as of June 2015. It was in February, May, and June of this year where glitches occurred nearly on a daily basis, in a span of 2-3 days.
Fortunately, so far, there has only been one incident resulting in injury for the year.
In this paper we will be focusing on the rationale for the nationalization of the MRT and LRT system as a catalyst for the development of a quality national mass transit system.
In support to the petition filed by Bayan and Bayan Muna Partylist asking the Supreme Court to nullify the order of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) to increase MRT and LRT fares by up to 87%, we join the riding public’s clamor to immediately stop the hikes in MRT and LRT fares in a series of protest actions in front of Supreme Court and several rail stations.
Instead of providing an efficient and affordable mass transport system gravely needed by more than a million daily commuters, the government now wants to wring out more profits from the already impoverished workers, students and all the riders of the metro train network.
DOTC had no authority to issue a fare hike order as it lacked proper public consultation, which is a necessary process when it comes to hikes in public services.
LAST February 4 and 5, commuters, student and people’s organizations participated in a public consultation with the Light Rail Transit Administration (LRTA) and the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC). The public consultation was held by the LRTA with regard to the fare hike that it approved for the light rail transit (LRT) and the metro rail transit (MRT) systems.
A FACEBOOK post of a friend pointed out the sad alignment of ones last Tuesday. On 1/11/11 the LRTA board approved the one peso fare increase per kilometer on the LRT and MRT lines after a boarding fee of 11 pesos. That is 11 pesos plus 1 peso per 1 km approved on 1/11/11. This increase, set to take effect on March 1, will bring the maximum fare in the three train systems to around 30 pesos. Around 1.3 million MRT and LRT commuters use the three train lines. More than half a million ply the MRT-3 (along EDSA) and LRT-1 (along Taft) while around 250,000 people use the LRT-2 line from Recto to Santolan.