Following its programmed improvements of the tracks, trains and the 20 stations of Metro Manila’s oldest railway, private operator Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) disclosed today that it has posted a record monthly ridership last August with 14.6 million passengers, the highest since the LRMC assumed operations of LRT-1 in 2015.
Passenger volume grew 8% from 13,454,019 passengers to 14,633,544 passengers in the same month last year which LRMC attributes to the increased number of trains and reduced waiting time of passengers.
“The ridership growth is a manifestation of stronger customer preference for LRT-1 over other modes of transportation,” according to LRMC President and CEO Juan F. Alfonso. “It is a significant achievement for our employees who have focused on increasing the number of trains and trips, reducing queueing time and travel time, as well as improving the safety, security and cleanliness of the stations.”
The train rehabilitation program has enabled the company to increase the number of train cars by 45 percent, from 77 in 2015, to 112 today. More train cars, in turn, meant more trips and shorter queueing time. From an average of 478 trips per day in 2016, we were able to reach 530 trips daily in 2017.
“This is the privatization effect,” Alfonso said. “With over PhP10.5 billion invested in capital projects to date, we were able to improve the safety, security and cleanliness of the stations as well as provide more trains, more trips, extended operating hours, less waiting time, more passengers, much improved customer satisfaction and the achievement of ISO certifications for quality management and environmental management – all unprecedented milestones in the 34-year history of Manila’s oldest light rail system.”
A study released by Kantar TNS and Phar early this year also showed improved customer experience on LRT-1. In the 2018 customer preference study, customers have rated LRT-1 performance to have improved over the last two years, which translated to their preference of LRT-1 over other modes of transportation from 47 percent to a very strong 62 percent.
LRMC is a joint venture company of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation’s Metro Pacific Light Rail Corporation (MPLRC), Ayala Corporation’s AC Infrastructure Holdings Corporation (AC Infra), and the Philippine Investment Alliance for Infrastructure’s Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) PTE Ltd. (MIHPL). It assumed operations and maintenance of LRT-1 in September 2015 through a PhP 65-billion 32-year concession agreement with the Department of Transportation and the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA).