Trains in the Philippines

Free fares between Marikina, Antipolo when LRT2 East Extension opens July 5

Aika Rey
Free fares between Marikina, Antipolo when LRT2 East Extension opens July 5

NEW STATIONS. Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade at the platform of the new station of the Light Rail Transit Line 2.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade's Facebook page

(1st UPDATE) The new LRT2 Antipolo and Marikina stations will start operations on July 5, with no fares charged at those segments from July 5 to 18

(Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said the new stations opened on July 1. This has been updated to reflect that they were only inaugurated on that day, and will start operations on July 5.)

Two new stations of the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT2) were inaugurated on Thursday, July 1, with the transportation department announcing it would waive fees for traveling between the Marikina and Antipolo stations for two weeks when it formally starts operations on July 5.

President Rodrigo Duterte led the inauguration of the Marikina and Antipolo stations of the LRT2 East Extension project on Thursday afternoon.

Duterte shared that he asked Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to waive the fees.

“Two weeks daw. Kaya raw ‘nya. (He can do two weeks),” Duterte said after Tugade went to him briefly when he announced his request.

Duterte later clarified the free rides only cover trips between the Marikina and Antipolo stations.

As the program ended, it appeared that Duterte would be riding the first train trip out of Antipolo Station.

Earlier on Thursday morning, the DOTr said in a statement posted on Facebook that the extended line will operate on Tuesday, July 6.

On Thursday evening, however, Hernando Cabrera, spokesperson of LRT2 operator Light Rail Transit Authority, tweeted the LRT2 would be providing “shuttle train service from Antipolo and Marikina Stations to Santolan Station vice-versa” beginning July 5.

He added, “no fares shall be charged for the said segment for a period of two weeks.”

The LRT2 East Extension will add 4 kilometers to the existing 13.8-kilometer railway from Santolan to Recto. The Marikina station is located near Robinsons Metro East and Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall, while the Antipolo station is near SM City Masinag.

Travel time between Recto, Manila to Antipolo, Rizal would only be around 40 minutes, down from the usual trip of three to four hours.

The new stations will be able to accommodate an additional 80,000 passengers, increasing LRT2’s daily passenger capacity to 320,000.

In 2021, the opening of the LRT2 East Extension had been set for April 26, then rescheduled to June 23, then delayed again to July 5. The final inauguration date turned out to be on Thursday.

The LRT2 East Extension project broke ground in 2015. It was supposed to be completed three and a half years breaking ground, but encountered delays. – Rappler.com