Free train ride program for students launched

Scene at an LRT-2 station. (Rene Lapid)

Three train operators will offer free rides to students while airports and seaports are offering free terminal fees as part of the Department of Transportation’s Malasakit (care) program for the riding public.

Under the Students’ Free Ride Program (SFRP), students will receive free rides on MRT-3, LRT-2 and Philippine National Railways trains from the start of railway operations in the morning until 6 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Eligible students are those enrolled in nursery/kindergarten schools, elementary/primary schools, high schools, colleges and universities (undergraduate studies and courses only) and trade, arts, technical, vocational schools/training centers.

Students in graduate schools and courses are not covered by the SFRP.

Enrolled students may avail of the program by applying for a student ID/pass at the start of every school term/year, school semester, training period that they are enrolled in. Each railway line will put up application centers for the ID/pass in their respective major stations.

The student ID/pass shall be valid only for the applied and approved school term/year/semester. It shall be valid and honored in all pertinent railway lines but not transferrable.

Existing free ride policies on children of the concerned railway lines shall remain and apply.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) will exempt all students from paying the passenger terminal fee (PTF) while the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) will exempt qualified students from paying airport terminal fees (ATF).

The free ATF and PTF covers students enrolled in elementary, high school and college level in either a formal or vocational/technical institution. Students taking graduate studies are not included in the program.

Exemptions to payment of PTF will be granted upon presentation of valid Identification cards at the terminal fee counters of PPA-owned passenger terminals.

The free ride program also includes senior citizens, persons with disabilities (PWD), active uniformed personnel from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Coast Guard.

CAAP-owned and operated airports all over the country are participating in the free ATF for students program. Excluded from the program are the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Mactan-Cebu International Airport, and Clark International Airport, which are not under CAAP.

Free ATF-qualified students are those currently enrolled in government-recognized elementary, secondary and collegiate schools, including academic, vocational and technical schools. Dancing, driving schools, and schools with short-term courses of the seminar-type are excluded.

Students must present a valid school ID or an enrollment registration card bearing their pictures, to all CAAP-owned and operated airports to avail of the free ATF.

Air operators will integrate the students’ exemption in their point-of-sale system similar to those used by senior citizens and PWD during business discount transactions.