There is no such thing as a free lunch, but there are free train rides… and tbh, that’s just as awesome!
If you’re a student who regularly takes a train to school, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has some good news! Save up your daily commute allowance by availing DOTr’s Student Free Ride Program. Yup, you read that right!
In line with DOTr’s Malasakit campaign, the initiative hopes to build better habits for students (read: punctuality) and help stretch every centavo of your daily baon. Plus, this program could also lessen road congestion for other commuters. Win-win situation!
Excitement aside, here’s everything we know so far about the awesome news a.k.a. the answers to the questions you might have. Happy commuting!
When can students avail the free train ride?
Students can start riding on the LRT 2, MRT 3, or PNR for free on July 1, 2019 (Monday). That’s just around the corner!
Can I avail the free train ride?
If you’re a student, definitely! To be specific, DOTr provides free train rides to students from nursery/kindergarten to college (undergraduate level). You can also avail of the service if you’re studying in art, technical, trade, or vocational school!
What’s included in the free train ride?
All government-operated railways are at your service! These include the Light Rail Transit Line 2 (LRT 2), Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT 3), and the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
P.S. The Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT 1) is excluded from the program since it’s privately owned and operated by the Light Rail Manila Corporation. (Prepare your commute fare when riding the LRT 1, please.)
What’s the schedule of the free train ride?
The Student Free Ride Program runs on weekdays, from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays. Take note of the free train ride schedule so you can go to school early, and go home early! (Assuming that you don’t have after-school hangouts, of course.)
- 4:30 AM to 6:00 AM
- 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
- 5:00 AM to 6:30 AM
- 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM
- 5:00 AM to 6:00 AM
- 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM
How can I avail the free train ride?
Given that you really are a bonafide student, DOTr just needs one thing from you: proof! More than just wearing a school uniform (and probably holding your exam handouts on one hand and your school project on another), you will be required to present your valid school ID to get a free ride.
Since the program is still gradually being implemented, a school ID will be enough for now. However, moving forward, you’ll have to apply for a student ID/pass online through the DOTr website or through the application centers in major stations of LRT 2, MRT 3, and PNR.
The online registration for student ID/pass starts on June 28, 2019 (Friday).
Important reminders for the student ID/pass:
- The student ID/pass is non-transferrable.
- The application for the student ID/pass can only be done at the start of the school year, semester, or training period.
- The student ID/pass is only valid throughout the duly-approved school year, semester, or training period. (Yes, you’ll have to re-apply after every term.)
Am I excluded from the free train ride?
Only when you’re done with your undergraduate studies, technically speaking.
As much as DOTr wants to give everyone a free ride (fingers crossed!), the Student Free Ride Program can only cater to some students for now. Sadly, this means hardworking students who are taking up postgraduate studies, seminar-type short courses, and driving schools cannot avail the free ride. Maybe for the next program!
But wait, there’s MORE!
Just when you thought a free train ride saves the day, DOTr also implemented student exemptions for terminal fees at airports and seaports operated by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) and Philippine Ports Authority (PPA). That means more savings from your student allowance!
Just like the free student ride for railways, you’ll have to present a valid school ID or an enrollment registration card with your photo to enjoy the waived terminal fees. Start availing the student privilege on July 16, 2019 (Tuesday) for the PPA seaports and on August 1, 2019 (Thursday) for the CAAP airports.
There are a gazillion concerns every student face in a school day, and a free train ride to and from school is one less problem to think about. Go ahead and take advantage of these student perks. And don’t forget to set your alarm early!