Following news of the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) Libreng Sakay program being extended until the end of May, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has announced the final passenger tally during its first month of offering free rides.
The DOTr says that from March 28 to April 30, 2022, the MRT-3 served 8,472,637 passengers who opted to use the railway system. That’s consistent with the numbers on its first week in which the MRT-3 saw 1,934,424 riders from March 28 to April 3, 2022.
That week, the MRT-3 welcomed 309,225 passengers in one day, the single highest figure since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. By all indications, it appears the transportation sector in Metro Manila is returning to its pre-pandemic numbers. However, the DOTr looks determined to approach the post-pandemic landscape with a different attitude.
Prior to the Libreng Sakay program, the DOTr worked on and completed the rehabilitation program for the MRT-3. The railway line now operates cars at speeds of up to 60 km/h. Passengers only wait around four minutes between trains, and traveling between Taft Avenue station and North Avenue station now takes only 45 minutes versus the previous 1 hour and 15 minutes.
These are significant changes, but the government agency isn’t resting on its laurels. It says it will continue testing the MRT-3 to its limit until the 350,000 passenger capacity is reached. If you haven’t had the chance to try out the improved MRT-3, now would be a good time. The Libreng Sakay program is in full swing until May 30, 2022. It remains to be seen if this is the last extension, so get your free ride in before the program ends.
In related news, the EDSA Carousel line has had the Libreng Sakay program for authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) since April 11, 2022. Out of 532 registered public utility buses (PUBs), 515 are participating in the program, so interested passengers can take advantage of the free rides until further notice.
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