By Ellson Quismorio
A lady lawmaker had only good things to say about the Department of Transportation’s (DOTr) “libreng sakay” or free rides for students on the Light Rail Transit-2 (LRT-2), Metro Rail Transit-3 (MRT-3), and Philippine National Railway (PNR) train lines.
According to Misamis Oriental 2nd district Rep. Juliette Uy, the DOTr’s fare exemption for students was “a brilliant move to decongest the trains and light rails during rush hours.”
“Decongestion of the trains can also lead to lighter train loads and fewer line disruptions,” reckoned Uy, who has a daughter.
The DOTr’s free ride scheme can be availed of by students from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. There are two identified time windows for the free rides–one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
READ MORE: DOTr offers free rides to students
These windows last for an hour to an hour and a half, depending on the train line the student will be using.
Uy, a member of the House Transportation Committee in the just-concluded 17th Congress, observed that the time slots set by the DOTr were just before the morning and afternoon peak rush hours.
Meanwhile, the congresswoman noted that the terminal fee exemption for students could also encourage more students to travel as domestic tourists.
“Many backpacker tourists are students. I hope the airlines and shipping companies will see the DoTr move as a signal for them to develop the backpacker tourist segment dominated by students,” said Uy, who also served as member of the Tourism committee.
Uy was reelected to a third term in the House of Representatives during the May 13 midterm polls.