It’s the start of the school year again and a lot of students will be traveling to and from schools and houses. Because of this, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) decided to provide free rides to students during selected hours during weekdays. Yes, this Filipino dream of students is finally becoming a reality—they will be given free rides to some of the railways in the Metro and in the capital of the country.
Arthur Tugade, Secretary of the Transportation Department said on Thursday, June 27th 2019, that students will have the chance to ride these railways without a charge under their newest program—the Student Free Ride Program.
- The Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) from 5:00 A.M. to 6:30 A.M. Then, at 3:00 P.M. until 4:30 P.M.
- Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2) from 4:30 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. Then at 3:00 P.M. until 4:30 P.M.; and
- The Philippine National Railways (PNR) from 5:00 A.M. to 6:00 A.M. Then from 3:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M.
What is the Student Free Ride Program?
Many people fail to realize that this program is beneficial especially to those who travel frequently using the following railways. Not known to many but these could actually be utilized by almost all types of students.
The following students are covered by the Student Free Ride Program:
- Pre-school students;
- Primary students;
- Secondary students; and
- Tertiary level students
Not just that, the programs and courses in which these students have to be fit in their requirement on the following:
- Vocational Schools
- Training Centres
- Trade; and
Are graduate school students included in this program?
Unfortunately, graduate school students are not part of the benefits of these program. However, of course, there are other programs and things that graduate school students can take advantage of—not just the Student Free Ride Program.
Registration for the free rides of students
This, of course, should have some sort of a registration for the officials and the systems to be able to recognize which students are eligible for it or not. For the department to discern which student is which, they need some sort of a system for it.
So, the DOTr will establish application centers in major stations of the MRT-3, LRT-2, and the PNR. In these major stations, students can apply for a student ID for the Student Free Ride Program or a student pass.
When can the registration for the student be?
Applying for the ID pass, just a quick FYI, is not transferrable. In addition to that, the registration should just be done in the beginning of the school year, the semester, or the term.
The validity of the student pass is only for one (1) school year, semester, and/or term. In this new regulation, students will really feel special since they are given this privilege and incentive.
Airport terminal fee
If you think that the DOTr’s incentive to provide free rides to students in these railways are just the new thing, think again. Students will also be exempted in paying the airport terminal fee.
The airport terminal fee is a charge that is regulated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP). So, they made the decision to exempt students to pay the airport terminal fee for their own convenience.
Furthermore, the ports owned by the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) also exempts students from paying a fee for traveling via the sea.
In clarification, the Department of Transportation said that schools and/or learning institutions with short-term courses and seminars like driving and dancing are not part of the program. They will also be waiving terminal fees owned by PPA for senior citizens and persons with disabilities, active personnel from the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
What would students need to be able to register for the student ID/pass?
For registration of the student ID or pass, students would need to present an enrolment registration form bearing their photos or a valid school ID. This way, they can take advantage of the free rides to students program by the Philippine government.