01/4/16

Where’s the Line 1 South Extension?

During the last days of 2015, people were all in anticipation with what should be the biggest news on the first day of 2016, President Noynoy Aquino and my “favorite” Transportation Secretary Jun (P)Abaya being run over by a train because they apparently could not keep their promise of having the construction of the 11.7 kilometer Line 1 South Extension from Baclaran to Bacoor in Cavite by the end of 2015.

It was a promise first uttered at the height of the campaign period for the 2013 midterm elections as Aquino was campaigning for his senatorial bets in Cavite. It also happens that (P)Abaya was also a congressman of the province before joining the cabinet and is also a high-ranking official of the administration party. Put the elements together and…I guess you get the picture. In a way, Aquino was dangling a carrot in an effort to boost his bets’ chances in the vote-rich province.

What exacerbated the matter was the fact that Aquino told the audience there that he has a “word of honor” or something that he intends to keep and (P)Abaya’s presence also implied that there’s this guarantee that the project would be done at the soonest time possible. But now it’s 2016 and Aquino’s term is about to end in June but still, not a single work has been done to signal the commencement of the project at least. And the people, especially those in Cavite are up in arms as it has been over 20 years and still no progress has been made for this long overdue project. Continue reading

08/13/15

Here Comes the Beep Card and Other Mass Transit News

After some delay and glitches along the way, the much-await tap-and-ride reloadable transport card for the Metro Manila mass transit system, the beep card, was finally unveiled to the public last July 20 on a trial run basis.

The beep card is envisioned to be the sole ticketing system to be used for all of Metro Manila’s mass transit lines: Lines 1, 2, and 3 and future lines. It is also envisioned to be a system that other modes of transport like buses could use, not to mention as a mode of payment for stores. Much like how Hong Kong’s Octopus card and Singapore’s ez-link card are used besides train ticketing. The potential is there for the beep card to be a modern form of payment at least in the metropolis. Continue reading

03/27/15

Roundup Bits: Tap and Load Cards, Mass Transit to Dasmariñas City, and Earth Hour 2015

So much has been happening around the metropolis lately, so it’s time to do a roundup of some of the matters we should know about. Read up on the news after the break. Continue reading

12/22/14

On Train Fare Hikes: A Commentary

Just as commuters in the metropolis are still feeling the good tidings of Christmas with the recent decision to lower jeepney fares, not to mention a possible lowered fares for taxis and AUVs, there is an impending yang to this present yin as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) announced an increase in the fares for the metropolitan mass transit lines operated by the LRTA (Lines 1 and 2) and MRTC (Line 3 or the EDSA line) effective January 4, 2015.

image of a Line 1 gen 3 train from Skyscrapercity

image of a Line 2 train courtesy of LRTA

image of a Line 3 courtesy of Rappler

The new rates would peg a trip from Roosevelt to Baclaran to P30 from the original P20 via Line 1, Santolan in Pasig to Recto in Manila at P28 from P15 via Line 2, and North Avenue to Taft Avenue at P28 from P15 via Line 3. If you use a stored value card though, you get a P1 discount on the fares.

the new Line 1 fare rates matrix (courtesy of Skyscrapercity)

the new Line 2 fare rates matrix (courtesy of Skyscrapercity)

the new Line 3 fare rates matrix (courtesy of Skyscrapercity)

What a way to start the year, right? Continue reading

06/11/14

The Question of the Common Station

If the problems of malfunctioning trains and the alleged corrupt practices of the sacked/resigned general manager of a metropolitan rail transit administering body were  not enough woes to the metropolis’ mass transport system, well here comes another one that is surely to make mass transportation “more fun in Metro Manila.”

The issue at stake now is the building of a common station, which is intended to the common terminal for mass rail transit Lines 1 and 3, as well as that of the planned Line 7 which would run all the way to San Jose Del Monte in Bulacan. This would be the vital missing ingredient that was missing that would make at least the current mass transit loop of Lines 1 and 3 complete as at the moment, passengers are deprived of what would have been a convenient transfer between lines.

At the crux of this issue is a dispute as to where it would be located, something that may or may not involve some external forces at play. At stake is the welfare of millions of commuters who will benefit from the convenience or inconvenience of this common station, depending on where it will eventually be built.

Continue reading