By Alexandria San Juan
More than 3,000 students availed the free rides offered by the Department of Transportation (DOTr) on various railway systems in Metro Manila during its pilot run on Monday.
According to the DOTr, a total of 668 students benefited from the free rides in Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) available from 5 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
In the Philippine National Railway (PNR), 559 students were able to take the free train rides offered every 5 a.m. to 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT-2) said a total of 1,803 students enjoyed the free train rides from 4:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The DOTr earlier announced it will implement the “Student Free Ride” program beginning July 1 and will be valid on weekdays except for holidays.
The program is available to all students from pre-school up to college level, as well as those taking up vocational and technical courses.
“We aim to establish a culture or psyche that these students will get used to waking up early. This is a small contribution of the DOTr to fulfill the President’s ambition to help our students,” Transportation secretary Arthur Tugade said.
Tugade added that the free ride program will also help in reducing the daily costs of students which could be utilized for other school needs and requirements.
For its initial implementation, the Department said students will only have to present their School identification cards or registration form to avail the free ride.
Meanwhile, the Department also encouraged interested students to apply for a Student Free Ride ID online through the DOTr website or personal through visiting its Malasakit Help Desks in any MRT-3 stations.#