LRT: ‘Always a hell of a trip’
For us persons with disabilities (PWDs), train commuting from Santolan to Recto stations is always a hell of a trip. Although there is a courtesy lane exclusively allotted for PWDs, senior citizens and pregnant women, this is usually “invaded” by young commuters who unabashedly compete and jostle, with impunity, for seats reserved for the elderly and disabled. The cause: The signage fronting the courtesy lane is almost in microscopic font that junior commuters, usually carrying babies or with tots, do not notice or read anymore. The lane’s intended beneficiaries cannot do anything but hang on as the seats are already filled. Also, at LRT stations, unisex comfort rooms are often unkempt and passengers have to fall in line. These have been going on for years but until now the management of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) has not taken any steps to address the problems.
Above all, the LRTA’s elevators are down and out; they have not functioned for a number of years already. What is ironic is that the agency, through the Department of Transportation and Communications, lobbies for an annual budget allocation, which supposedly include these facilities, in the General Appropriations Act. Where have all these budget outlays gone? I think Congress must probe this matter to provide efficient service to the commuting public, especially to senior citizens, PWDs and pregnant women.
I also suggest that the LRTA’s ticket sellers stamp the letters SC (for senior citizen), PWD or P (for pregnant women) on the tickets, which should be presented to the security guard for entry into the courtesy area. Also, an additional lane and coach exclusively for young women with babies or small children should be made available. This way, the elderly and disabled will feel deserving of the benefits due them under the Senior Citizens Law and Persons with Disability Act.
—EDGAR J. TAMAYO,
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.