Talk about rubbing salt into an open wound.
A Facebook user, who wishes not to be identified to protect her privacy, said she had to pay a fine of PHP28 (US$0.52) yesterday for “overstaying” at the MRT station.
The reason: all of the trains going to Buendia in Makati were crowded, so she had no choice but to wait for an excruciating 90 minutes in Cubao, Quezon City.
The woman wrote that she was at the MRT Cubao station at 7:15am and didn’t get the Buendia station until two hours later. But her fun was only beginning.
When she tried to use her tap-and-go Beep card on the station’s card reader, the machine’s screen displayed this message: “OVERSTAY. FAILED.”
The woman told Coconuts Manila through Facebook Messenger that she was running late for work, which was why she decided against speaking with any of the station’s managers.
However, she did take a moment to describe her situation to a security guard at the station.
“I tried explaining [to the guard] that I was stuck in Cubao because all trains that came by were all overcrowded, but the guard said that that’s just how it is. That you had to be out of your prior station after one hour,” she wrote in her message.
The fact that the train’s cardholders are granted just an hour before getting hit with the PHP28 fine was news to her, she said, and particularly infuriating given that she had zero control over the situation.
“[It] only happened because the trains that kept on arriving in Cubao were crazy overcrowded [so] that only a person or two could get inside at a time. And I was probably like, fifteenth in line,” she said.
She asked the Department of Transportation (DOTr) to do something about the unfair practice.
“I’m expecting that this might happen again in the future, but I don’t plan on paying you [DOTr] guys P[HP]28 every single time it does,” she wrote in her post.
“I don’t plan on (sic) compensating (sic) you for your incompetency,” she added.
She stressed that she was already paying for “taxes to the government that couldn’t deliver its services well.”
“I’ll still be riding the MRT to work tomorrow, only because my government leaves me no other choice,” she said.
She told Coconuts Manila: “Initially, I was surprised and felt that it was unfair, hence my post, but I hope that by sharing this, we can attract [the] DOTr’s attention and provide them a way to clear up the issue once and for all.”
Her post has more than 18,000 likes and 9,800 shares as of this story’s posting.
A few netizens chimed in to say they have experienced the same thing, like Melannie Ubalde here.
What a simple way to SCAM!!” said Mariel Santos.
“Happened to me before. Never happened again because I’m back to riding buses again. Convenient and lot faster than riding MRT,” wrote Cy Rosario.
Have you ever experienced this while riding the MRT? Leave a comment below or tweet us @CoconutsManila.