The MRT-3 logged record-high ridership for two consecutive days, as workers returning to their offices took advantage of free rides that were meant to cushion the blow from rising fuel prices, management said.
A total of 285,091 commuters rode the MRT-3 for free on Tuesday, while Wednesday saw 281,507 passengers. These were the highest since the train line reopened from the first ECQ or lockdown in early 2020.
“Bumabalik na tayo sa pre-pandemic numbers natin kasi lumuluwag na rin ang ating Alert Level sa pandemic. We are targeting around 300,000 to 400,000 passengers in the next few weeks,” MRT-3 OIC-General Manager Michael J. Capati told CNN Philippines.
Around 250,000 to 300,000 people were riding the MRT-3 pre-pandemic, which declined the past two years due to COVID-19 restrictions and remote work.
The railway line's free ride program was launched after rehabilitation works were completed and covers all stations and hours of the day. Passengers can ride free until April 30.
Commuters using single journey tickets can get the stubs for free. Those using beep can tap their cards to open barriers, with no load deducted.
The MRT-3 currently has eighteen three-car train sets running daily, two four-car train sets and one train set from China's Dalian, which has a capactiy of 1,182 passengers per train set, or 394 per train car.
Previously, the MRT-3 ran at only 30 kilometers per hour, which is now double at 60 kph.
“Dahil sa completion ng ating rehabilitation, we also encourage people to use MRT-3 para maramdaman nila ang pagbabago,” Capati said.