Commuters’ say about February 7 MRT, LRT ‘libreng sakay’

February 7, 2024 - 12:46 PM
LRT-2 and MRT-3
A train of the Light Rail Transit-Line 2 in this photo from the Light Rail Transit Authority; Commuters availing free rides at the Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 on Feb. 7, 2024 (dotrmrt3/Facebook)

Some commuters took to social media to report the alleged non-announcement of free train rides at the Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 and the Light Rail Transit-Line 2 as the Department of Transportation celebrates its 125th anniversary.

The MRT-3 management on Wednesday announced that it is offering free rides to travelers during the morning and evening rush hours in celebration of its operator’s anniversary.

This morning’s free rides were available from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., with the MRT-3 operator sharing the announcement on Facebook — the most popular social platform among Filipinos — at 6:35 a.m., minutes before the implementation.

The evening free rides, meanwhile, will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Light Rail Transit Authority, the operator of LRT-2, also made the announcement on the day of the implementation.

It was posted on Facebook at 4:55 a.m., hours before the initiative took effect.

Similar to the MRT-3, free rides were offered from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. The next implementation is slated 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The online announcement failed to amuse some Pinoys who claimed that they were unable to avail of the free rides on either of the railways during their morning commute.

“Saan po meron libre? Sumakay ako [kanina] past 7 a.m. wala po libre,” a Facebook user said in response to the MRT-3 management’s post.

“Why [weren’t we] informed sa LRT Marikina?” a commuter of the LRT-2 said.

“Walang sinabi sa’min sa LRT Marikina. I was there lagpas 7 a.m.,” the commuter added in a quote.

“Wala naman sinabi sa Anonas Station,” another LRT-2 commuter commented to the LRT-2’s announcement post.

The LRT-2 account responded to the two online users, saying that there was an announcement.

“Inaanunsyo po natin ang libreng sakay ngayong araw sa ating mga PA [public address] system sa lahat ng station, kabilang po ang Anonas Station,” it said to the commuter who claimed of unavailing the free ride in the said station.

“Inaanunsyo po natin ang libreng sakay ngayong araw sa ating mga PA [public address] system sa lahat ng station, kabilang po ang Marikina Station,” the LRT-2 account said to the one who claimed there were no free rides at the LRT-2 Marikina-Pasig Station.

However, the commuter from that station insisted they continued to use the station turnstile gate in their morning commute.

“If na-announce, ba’t pa kami nag-tap sa turnstiles? Hindi lang ako. Nada. Kahit pagpasok namin, wala,” the commuter responded to the LRT-2 account.

Meanwhile, other Filipinos thanked the railways for the free rides in the peak hours.

“Thank you so much, DOTr MRT-3, para sa free ride ngayong umaga. Laking tipid, lalo na sa tulad kong commuter na naghihigpit ng sinturon dahil sa ako ay Working Student po. More power at more free rides to come po!” a Facebook user wrote.

“Thank you po sa libreng sakay,” another user commented.

“Thank you, MRT. Sana abot uli ako mamaya [pag-uwi],” wrote a different Pinoy.

The MRT-3 has the highest ridership among trains since it passes through different cities of Metro Manila through EDSA.

The LRT-2, on the other hand, serves workers and students in the east of Metro Manila.

It also connects to the MRT-3 and the Light Rail Transit-Line 1 via its Araneta Cubao Station and the Recto Station, respectively.