The free ride program of the Metro Rail Transit-Line 3 (MRT-3) will be extended until end-May, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced Wednesday.

In a statement, the DOTr said the decision was reached “to continue providing assistance to the riding public in their commuting needs.”

The free ride program entitles passengers to ride the rehabilitated MRT-3 line anytime between 4:40 a.m. and 10:10 p.m.

According to the DOTr, a total of 7,227,434 passengers have benefitted from the free ride program as of as April 26.

The program was launched on March 28 and was initially set to end on April 30.

Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said the government hoped the extension of the program would ease the financial burden on commuters amid inflation and rising fuel prices, especially with more workers returning to on-site work.

“Napapanahon na i-extend pa natin ang libreng sakay sa MRT-3 upang mas maraming Pilipino ang makinabang,” Tugade was quoted as saying in the DOTr statement. John Ezekiel J. Hirro