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

06/10/15

Line 2 East Extension…Finally!

After about 5-6 years of waiting thanks to the slow pace that has been going on at the Department of Transportation and Communication, (thank you Sec. Mar Roxas and Jun (P)Abaya!) the Urban Roamer is happy to report that finally work is now commencing on the Line 2 East Extension…for real.

groundbreaking ceremony of the Line 2 East Extension (photo courtesy of CNN Philippines via Twitter: https://twitter.com/cnnphilippines/status/608102034211020800)

photo courtesy of the Antipolo City Government Facebook page

Yesterday, June 9, marked the groundbreaking of the said project which would involve extending the present line of the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) ending at Santolan to about 4.2 kilometers east in rail length and two additional stations: Emerald Station in Pasig near Robinsons Metro East Mall and Sta. Lucia Mall and Masinag Station in Antipolo. For those who are based on the eastern part of Metro Manila and of Rizal, such as myself, this is a big deal and a project we have long been anticipating to happen. 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

04/8/14

The Guide To Mass Rail Transit Names

Over the years of the Urban Roamer, I’ve come to realize that there are things pertaining to urban life, the ins and outs, the ways things go here n the Manila metropolitan landscape that many are unaware of. Thus, I have decided to set up another semi-regular feature on this site which I call “The Guide.” Think of it as a handy reference  of sorts of what you need to know about how the city works when it comes to some aspects of its urban landscape, all its quirks included. The first I am going to tackle here in “The Guide” is a subject close to and has long been a source of annoyance for me at least.

There seems to be so much confusion and wrong going on with how Metro Manila’s 3 mass rail transit lines are named. It is something that has been bugging me for a while. Granted some may see this as petty, allow me to elaborate on this post.

the current Metro Manila mass rail transit system (courtesy of Urbanrail)

First things first, we must learn the type of mass rail transit systems available in the metropolis today. The first is the “light rail system,” which is designed to handle a limited number of passengers. From the name given, we can assume that the trains operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) are light rail systems. Well, the answer is…not really.  Continue reading