Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Rail ridership seen taking at least 3 years to return to normal levels

By Arjay L. Balinbin, Senior Reporter

Ridership on the four rail networks rose more than 172% year on year to 47.57 million between April and September, well below equivalent levels in 2019, the Transportation department said, with analysts estimating that passenger volumes could take at least three years to return to their pre-pandemic levels.

Passenger volumes on Light Rail Transit Lines 1 and 2 (LRT-1 and LRT-2), Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR) increased 172.45% during the period, according to the Department of Transportation.

The period was selected to exclude January-to-March data for both 2020 and 2021, which were heavily distorted by lockdowns.

Train ridership for the same period in 2019, or before the pandemic, totaled 161.78 million.

The government imposed a 30% cap on rail passenger capacity during the strictest phases of the community quarantine. It was raised to 70% starting Nov. 4.

“Studies have shown that only 0.2% of traceable outbreaks in Germany were linked to transport; only 1.2% of COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) clusters are linked to transport (land, air, and sea); and that there is only a 0.01% chance of contracting COVID-19 in public transportation, with the probability decreasing to 0.005% risk of infection with face covering,” Transportation Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John R. Batan said in a recent statement.

Transportation expert Rene S. Santiago told BusinessWorld by phone Monday that lockdowns and capacity limits had “curtailed ridership.”

He also noted that the uptick in ridership this year “could reflect relaxation of restrictions.”

“(Ridership) will not get back to pre-pandemic levels for at least three years,” Mr. Santiago added.

Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC), the private operator of LRT-1, is hoping that 2022 will be a much better year than 2021.

“The gradual increase and return to pre-pandemic level of our ridership will have to depend on several factors, so it’s hard to give a forecast at this point,” LRMC Spokesperson Jacqueline S. Gorospe told BusinessWorld in a phone message.

“Aside from the resumption of more economic activities, some of the main factors include the government’s policy for ridership capacity, public confidence, opening of schools/universities, and return to physical work in companies,” she added.

LRMC reported a 20% year-on-year decline in nine-month revenue to P799 million due to capacity reductions and lower demand.

LRT-1’s average daily ridership decreased 48% year on year to 116,021 due to the 30% cap.

LRMC is the consortium composed of Ayala Corp., Metro Pacific Light Rail Corp. (a unit of Metro Pacific Investments Corp.) and Macquarie Infrastructure Holdings (Philippines) Pte. Ltd.

Metro Pacific Investments Corp. is one of three Philippine subsidiaries of Hong Kong’s First Pacific Co. Ltd., the others being PLDT, Inc. and Philex Mining Corp. Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., maintains an interest in BusinessWorld through the Philippine Star Group.

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!



SM Investments Corp. announces annual stockholders’ meeting on April 26 – BusinessWorld Online ...


AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. to conduct annual meeting of stockholders virtually on April 19 – BusinessWorld Online ...


Please see below for the Notice of the Annual Stockholders’ Meeting of Premium Leisure Corp. TO ALL STOCKHOLDERS: The Annual Stockholders’ Meeting of Premium...


Please see below for the Notice of the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting of Belle Corporation. To all Shareholders: The annual meeting of the shareholders of...


PHILIPPINE STAR/MICHAEL VARCAS By Keisha B. Ta-asan, Reporter THE BANGKO Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is likely to pause its current tightening cycle in May,...


BW FILE PHOTO THE NATIONAL Government’s (NG) gross borrowings declined by 16.5% as of end-January, the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) said. Based on...

You May Also Like


COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...


REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...


BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...


KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

Disclaimer: Respect, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.