MRT management to investigate policy that charges for 'overstaying'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — The Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3 is in hot waters again after a commuter slammed a rule on overstaying in a viral post.

MRT's media affairs office told CNN Philippines in a text message that authorities were now investigating the complaint. The office did not respond to a request for guidelines on the supposed rule.

The passenger took to Facebook on Thursday to share her experience of train delay before allegedly getting charged. She said it took her an hour and a half — 30 minutes more than usual — to arrive at her destination due to overcrowded trains, only to find that the value of her ticket had expired.

She was told that the policy requires that passengers be on and off the train within an hour, else they be charged a ₱28.00 overtime fee.

"It wasn't like I chose to lounge around and waste precious time away," the netizen wrote. "I'm expecting that this might happen again in the future, but I don't plan on paying you guys ₱28 every single time it does. I don't plan on compensating you for your incompetency. It's probably enough that I, just like millions of other Filipinos, am paying my taxes to a government that couldn't deliver its services well."

The commuter also tagged the Department of Transportation (DOTr) MRT-3 management and urged them to act on the rule, which she deemed unfair.

"I really want to highlight is the fact that the overstaying charge is real and happening, and based (on) the comments from numerous netizens, many are still unaware that this policy is in effect," she told CNN Philippines.

As of publishing time, the post garnered 19,000 reactions and 10,000 shares.

The MRT-3 has been notorious for breakdowns and glitches in recent years. The rail line reported an average of two glitches a day in 2017.

Other events that made headlines were an hour-long stall due to a diaper getting snagged on the overhead catenary system, as well as the detachment of two coaches, forcing passengers to dismount and walk on the rails to the next station.

CNN Philippines Senior Researcher Ella Hermonio contributed to this report.