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LRMC Communications and Customer Relations head Jacqueline Gorospe, president and CEO Juan Alfonso, and Information Management and Technology head Randy Sac pose for a photo during the launch of the ikotMNL mobile app at the Islas Pinas food hall in Pasay City on Tuesday Nov. 19, 2019 / PNA

LRT-1 launches mobile app for passengers

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Light Rail Manila Corp. (LRMC) has launched the ikotMNL mobile app for passengers of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1).

The app, available for both iOS and Android devices, features real-time train arrivals and departures, fare information, crowd information in all stations of the LRT-1, safety reminders, passenger advisories, news and announcements, a chatbox for customer concerns, and a feedback form to help the LRMC improve train service and passenger experience.

During its launch in Pasay City, LRMC president and chief executive officer (CEO) Juan Alfonso said that aside from physical improvements of the LRT-1 such as the recent expansion of EDSA Station and ongoing construction of the LRT-1 Cavite extension project, digital solutions to make travel easier for commuters is also a priority of the private rail transport concessionaire.

“We aim to bring transport convenience closer to passengers and be their partner in traveling through Manila,” Alfonso said.

Aside from serving as an information hub for commuters, LRMC Communications and Customer Relations head, Jacqueline Gorospe said the ikotMNL app also promotes local tourism by featuring tourist spots, local restaurants, “food trip” or hangout spots, shopping malls and thrift markets in areas along the LRT-1 route.

“Basically, it encourages everyone to rediscover Manila, visit the nearby tourist spots,” Gorospe said.

The mobile app is also set to be upgraded through a planned partnership between LRMC and beep card for a QR code fare system, as well as tie-ups with merchants to turn the ikotMNL app into a transport, tourism, and lifestyle app in one package.

“We’ve spent a considerable amount of time and effort into making the ikotMNL app the best it can be and this early, we already have more features in mind to add to the app,” Gorospe said.

During the event, the official also announced a partnership with both telecommunications giants Globe Telecom and Smart Communications for the provision of free WiFi services in all 20 stations of the LRT-1 which are already available, with plans to also roll out free WiFi services aboard all LRT-1 trains.

Alfonso also said four new trains for the LRT-1 would arrive by the third quarter of next year.

In October, the LRMC announced that the right-of-way acquisition for the LRT-1 Cavite extension project was almost complete and was on-track for partial operability by end of 2021.

Within the same month, the concessionaire began expansion works of LRT-1's EDSA Station, one of the rail line's busiest stations due to its connection with the Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3), as part of the Cavite extension project.

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