RILES Network slams MRT crowd control scheme

4 Jun

A network opposing fare hikes in the MRT and LRT train systems strongly criticized the management of the MRT today for implementing a crowd control scheme in the train’s busiest stations last Monday, saying the scheme only worsened the plight of passengers and does not address the root of the problem.

The Riles Laan sa Sambayanan (RILES) Network said the LRT Administration’s crowd control scheme, which was first implemented last Monday morning and allows only 100 passengers inside train stations, caused passengers falling in line to overflow into the streets near the stations and be exposed to the heat or rain.

“The crowd control scheme and the MRT’s operation during rush hours run counter to the LRTA’s mission and vision. The LRTA should be providing the public with a transport system that is both efficient and safe,” said Sammy Malunes, RILES Network spokesperson.

The network blamed the MRT’s maintenance, currently outsourced to the private sector, for delays in the arrival and departure of trains. It said the private contractor is merely wasting the people’s money with the kind of service it is providing the LRTA.

“The contract with the private sector for the train system’s maintenance should be terminated immediately. The government through the LRTA should be directly responsible for providing the riding public with safe and efficient transport service,” Malunes said.

The RILES Network said more students will be late for school and workers will be late for work in the coming days and weeks unless the government takes back the train system’s maintenance from the private sector and takes full responsibility for the function.

“I fell in line and saw the mayhem organized by the LRTA myself. People were really surprised and angered by the crowd control scheme. Many were saying invectives against the MRT management,” added Malunes.

“The MRT’s case shows that private is not always best. It seems that the MRT’s private contractor are trying to create a situation in which passengers would accede to a fare hike and the train sytem’s privatization,” he added.

The network also said that the late arrival and departure of trains affects the focus and productivity of students and workers riding the MRT.

It called on MRT passengers who are on social networking sites to vent out their anger over the scheme, even as it prepares protests against the government’s plan to increase fares and privatize the MRT’s operations.

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