December 06, 2015

A Guide to the MRT, LRT and the PNR

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    In the Philippines, traffic can be unbearable especially during rush hour. The trip through Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or Edsa as it is more popularly known, can seem to go on forever. The numerous taillights from vehicles of all shapes and sizes make Edsa look like a sea of red during the night. According to the 2015 Global Driver Satisfaction Survey conducted by GPS-based navigation app Waze, the Philippines received a rating from its users a deplorable 0.4%, having the worst driving experiences on a global scale.

    Due to trips that can turn into almost an ordeal, from a struggle of two hours (if you are lucky) to a staggering four hours (or not) when traversing Edsa from end to end, a considerable majority resort to using the rapid mass transport system which are the MRT (the Manila Metro Rail Transit), the LRT 1 and 2 (Light Rail Transit) and the PNR (Philippine National Railways) to navigate around Manila and out of the area.

    Manila Metro Rail Transit (MRT)

    PHILIPPINES-INVESTMENT-INFRASTRUCTUREPhoto from mrt3.com

    Designated as the Blue Line, the MRT has been a transport mode available to commuters travelling through EDSA for more than a decade, moving about a million of passengers every month. The original fare used to be P10 – P15 before it was increased to its current P13 – P22.

    The line’s endpoint stations are North Avenue and Taft Avenue spanning five cities from Quezon City to Pasay City. Stations included in the Blue Line are North Avenue, Quezon Avenue, GMA-Kamuning, Araneta Center-Cubao, Santolan-Annapolis, Ortigas, Shaw Boulevard, Boni, Guadalupe, Buendia, Ayala, Magallanes and Taft Avenue. The platforms and stations of the MRT are not levelled with the ground to seamlessly connect some to prominent landmarks and malls near EDSA.

    Before the emergence of Beep cards, there are originally the magnetic card tickets that can be classified either for single journey (for one-time use) or stored-value, which you can keep and top-up every time you use it. It can last for a period and is ideal for short distance and daily commuters for a less-hassle trip. The MRT operates starting from 5 A.M. to 11 P.M. Waiting time for the next train usually takes about three to five minute intervals.

    Photo from LRT Authority via Wikipedia

    Light Rail Transit (LRT 1 and 2)

    The Light Rail Transit also has the same rules and regulations as the MRT, but goes by a different route. LRT 1 caters to those from North Manila to the South with Monumento, 5th Avenue, R. Papa, Abad Santos, Blumentritt, Tayuman, Bambang, Doroteo Jose, Carriedo, Central Terminal, U.N. Avenue, Pedro Gil, Quirino Avenue, Vito Cruz, Gil Puyat, Libertd, EDSA Pasay, and Baclaran. LRT 2 on the other hand has an east-west route with stations at Doroteo Jose, Recto, Legarda, Pureza, V. Mapa, J. Ruiz, Gilmore, Betty Go Belmonte, Cubao, Anonas, Katipunan, and Santolan.

    Passengers are advised to take care of their belongings to avoid falling prey to possible pickpockets onboard. Balloons, large luggage, large quantities of fluids, alcoholic beverages and sharp objects are among those prohibited to take inside. Drunken passengers and those under the influence of drugs are not permitted to enter as well.

    There is also the rule of not stepping beyond the yellow lane on the platforms as a safety precaution for passengers to avoid getting hit or falling on the tracks.

    PNR_Sucat_train

    Photo from Wikipedia

    The Philippine National Railways (PNR)

    Perhaps the most encompassing of all the railway transit systems in the Philippines is the Philippine National Railways (PNR), stretching thousands of kilometers and extending beyond Metro Manila. There are two frontline services: the Metro South Commuter Train (from Tutuban – Calamba) and the Bicol Commuter Train (Tagkawayan – Legazpi). Riding the PNR is almost the same as the MRT or LRT and but the trip duration according to the Department of Transportation and Communications has a total time of 2 hours, 47 minutes and 15 seconds:

    Procedure:

    Step 1: Buy Ticket from Ticket Booth (5 seconds)

    Step 2: Show Ticket to gate inspector/conductor (5 seconds)

    Step 3: Ride the Train (1 minute) Estimated Travel Time

    1. Tutuban to Calamba: 2 hours

    2. Naga to Sipocot: 45 minutes

    Step 4: Exit Train (1 minute)

    Step 5: Show Ticket to Inspector at station or destination (5 seconds)

    Note: Always keep ticket while inside the train before leaving the station of destination for inspection. Passenger found without ticket or short ticketed will be charged with the full amount of fare for the route.

    In a survey conducted, it is documented that traffic has accounted for 14% of things that has contributed to the stress the general public experiences. It is important to note that to deal with the traffic, one must know how to kill time. Listen to good music or manage time while on a trip. Do not let the traffic make a beating out of you. Beat the traffic!

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    Article by Arvee Gomez

    Sources:

    About. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://dotcmrt3.gov.ph/about

    Light Rail Transit. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.lrta.gov.ph/

    Philippine National Railways. (2015). Retrieved from http://www.pnr.gov.ph/

    Rodriguez, F. (2015, October 1). Metro Manila has ‘worst traffic on Earth’ – Waze. Retrieved

    from http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/issues/107719-manila-worst-traffic-waze

    Tan, L. (2015, October 2). Metro Manila has ‘worst traffic on Earth,’ longest commute – Waze.

    Retrieved from http://cnnphilippines.com/metro/2015/10/01/Metro-Manila-Philippines-worst-traffic-longest-commute-Waze-survey.html

    The Metro Rail Transit. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.metromaniladirections.com/2010/03/mrt-stations.html

                 
               
               
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