The fare hike in MRT and LRT trains in Metro Manila was implemented yesterday. This is a long-delayed move as any government subsidy program immediately creates an entitlement and dependency thinking in the public. People think that they are entitled to various and endless subsidies if not freebies from the government and are less concerned of the trade off or sacrifices somewhere else just to finance the subsidies and freebies that they enjoy.
And that largely suggest that the train fare subsidy is wrong, in theory and practice.
P10 billion of annual subsidy is still big. It is possible to bring it down to zero. Many regular train commuters will be angry with this of course, but this measure will mean less crowded, more convenient rides for the passengers, and will reduce the animosity of people outside of Metro Manila towards the government and the metropolis residents. The reduction in public debt and reduction in annual interest payment is another positive result of removing the subsidy as the government borrows yearly some P300 B to finance the annual budget deficit.
Transport Econ 8: Removing MRT and LRT Fare Subsidy, March 08, 2013
Transport Econ 10: MMDA and Car Ban, July 18, 2013
Transport Econ 11: On Fare-Contracting Taxi Drivers, December 13, 2013
Transport Econ 12: Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Tricycles, April 21, 2014
Transport Econ 13: On Prohibiting S. Luzon Provincial Buses to Enter M.Manila, August 30, 2014