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LRT and MRT in Manila


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Kristine and I are going to Manila later this week with the kids. Because of the horrible reputation of the taxi drivers (was just there last week and the reputation is warranted) and the terrible traffic, I though we might try and utilize the rail system since our hotel is very near one of the stops. Does anyone have first hand, not hearsay please, information on the pros and cons of using this mode of transportation while we we there? Luckily we will be able to stay away from the rush hour madness and therefore utilize the rail system during less stressful times.

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When we lived in Marikina, I used to use it all the time for getting around. It's much much easier. Its cheap around 12 to 15 php per person.

 

The lines and stations appear on Google Maps, so its easy to check where you want to go.

 

manilametro.jpg

Edited by Ricky
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Oh and the lines don't quite link up as it appears on the map, no through tickets etc. You have to exit stations cross bridges or wander through shopping malls and buy new tickets, but its alright.

Edited by Ricky
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smokey

i have ridden it a few times when roaming manila... a few basic rules... duck tape your wallet shut..... rule two use more duct tape on top of rule one... one time a cop suggested i not get off the train as i was in a no white man area.. ???

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Bob;

 

As you know I am here in Manila right now. But as you said in your op that you wanted first hand info on the trains. I have not rode the trains but many of my in-laws have and they said the same thing Ricky and Robert did.

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Until mid last year, I was living in Marikina (Manila), never had any problems, but do agree with the advice of being cautious with wallet, bags etc, Can be very very busy at rush hour.

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smokey

Until mid last year, I was living in Marikina (Manila), never had any problems, but do agree with the advice of being cautious with wallet, bags etc, Can be very very busy at rush hour.

 

 

 

 

 

when the train is very full the theives work their magic .. often in teams.. i almost got burned my wife caught the women as she made her play

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first things first. friday is edsa day, a holiday with lots of events going on around the sm megamall area at edsa. so do not plan on going through that area by car or taxi...

this may make the mrt busier than usual, which, during rush hours, can be busy (crowded). on the other hand, not being a work day may make it less crowded. i haven't taken the mrt often but, when it is not crowded, no problems. when it is crowded, sometimes you won't be able to squeeze onto a car of the first train that passes by. so carrying a lot of packages (such as after shopping) may be a problem.

 

sometimes it can be confusing figuring out where you need to go to leave/enter the terminal. signs are not as good as they could be, so don't be shy about asking security for directions. and don't expect people to fall in line to any great extent. most do but enough don't so sometimes entering and exiting can be a bit of a scrum. entering a station you will have the option of buying cards from a machine (hopefully they are working) or from a person. if i recall there are lines for exact change but i forget, but it is good to have small change for the tickets.

 

basically it is enter the terminal, buy a ticket, pass through the turnstiles, figure out where the loading area is, and wait for the train. when you get on a car don't stop right at the door (you will be blocking others; many do so anyway) unless you can find a small corner to squeeze into between the door and a seat and vertical pole. it can be handy to find such a corner when it is crowded so that it is easier when getting off.

it may be handy to have a list of stations with you to help you figure out which stop is which. the stations do have signs but when you are on the train it can be hard to see them, and i for one sometimes have trouble understanding the stations announced by the driver.

 

as i said, most of the time the experience has been pretty easy, crowds being the only real problem. if not too crowded find a place to look out the windows and enjoy the view of metro manila... don't forget to look down at edsa below so you can feel good about not being on the road.

when exiting a terminal i've never had a problem with taxis. the biggest problem may be working through the vendors.

the shangril la terminal takes you into the shangila mall. to get to the sm megamall you have to take a bit of a walk. the malls do not connect.

 

second things second. i've never taken the lrt but it is older so the facilities are probably less efficient/comfortable. last week there was a collision of empty trains causing a derailment and damage at/near the monumento station in the north. last i heard that part of the system was still not working. maps of lrt/mrt seem to indicate a northern connection between lrt/mrt taking you past the sm north/trinoma shopping area. when i last looked down at the track from the 5th floor of sm north the track was still being worked on but that has been almost a couple of months now. maybe it is open now but i doubt it. and then there is the derailment damage that would likely cause it to be closed anyway.

 

hope you have fun.

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Hey isnt a portion of the line closed due to a head on collision last week?

 

I rode it last year from SM to Ermita area during rush hour. I was really impressed .. as the trains had upgraded since i last rode it in the late 90's . Its still not Hong Kong or singapore or bangkok or taipei or.....but it worked and was Air Con'd

 

I never worried for my life or belongings.

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sandwindstars

Avoid rush hours. Between 10 am - 3 pm, it's roomier. If you travel with your wife, sporting grey hair, you can get in the front car (ladies, kids and oldies car). It is roomier, more civilized. The stations don't properly connect except the one at SM North. As someone said, you'll have to navigate malls to get to the next line. And the malls don't open at 10:00 am I think, so you may have to go round about way before that. The connection between Line 2 (Taft) and Line 1 (Pasay), the stairs are steep and kinda scary. The best line is #2. There are automated vending ticket machines (I've seen and used). I think they only take exact change. On weekends, esp Sunday, they're fun to ride.

 

I normally take the LRT/MRT to the stop nearest station to where I'm going, take a cab from there or just walk.

Edited by sandwindstars
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  • 1 month later...

I rode the train in Manila...just for the experience. Quite the experience. If you're lost some of the station guards are no help at all. The platforms are poorly lit (at least at Libertad) and I actually felt safer on the trains than standing around waiting for them. I think at one of the terminating stations (EDSA I believe) there is a skywalk that crosses the busy road and looks like its on the verge of collapse. NOnetheless, its reasonable safe if you know where you are and where you are going. Some dodgy characters on the tains...but like others said kept your stuff secure and the bling to a minimum...

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Alan S

Railways in Manila?

Watch this.

 

 

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The Mason

I used to ride both the LRT and MRT when I lived in Manila. They are a cheap way to get around town, but they are almost always jam packed and uncomfortable. As someone else said, guard your money very closely if you take this route. If you're taking the kids with you, I wouldn't recommend taking the MRT/LRT.

 

If you can, try to get onto the lady's car with your wife. The guards would frequently let me get on the lady's car. The key was not to make eye contact with them and just get on. If the guard tried to stop us, my wife would usually say I had a bad back and couldn't take the crowded regular cars. I'd then start walking gingerly towards the car and was seldom denied entry. If you do have the kids with you, you'll be almost guaranteed entry to the lady's car.

 

I never really had a tough time with taxi drivers in Manila. Your best bet is to flag one down from a nice hotel or shopping mall. They'll always use the meter if you get picked up there. Flagging them down on the street is a crapshoot, but its seldom takes more than 1-2 tries to get someone that will use the meter. Exceptions are Makati, bus terminals, and tourist areas, you'll seldom get a ride on the meter in those places.

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