03/7/16

Mass Transit Updates (Just In Time For Election Season)

As you all know by now, the Urban Roamer does not hide the fact how much he loathes current transportation priorities of this government, most especially the policies (or the lack of it) and the ineptitude of the current leadership of our Transportation Department, headed by that guy we all love to strangle, Sec. Joseph Emilio (P)Abaya. From taking too long to get some mass transit lines started to his stupidity on the Common Station issue, his history of making failed decision-making skills is appalling to say the least.

Thanks or no thanks to him, at least we are seeing some sort of progress as far as the mass transit line front is concerned. Then again, it is convenient that we are only seeing such progress just in time for election year, and you know what that implies. Nevertheless, we take what we can get and such small victories are appreciated as something is finally happening. Not much admittedly, but it is something still. Continue reading

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

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

08/14/14

Derailed

With so many problems Metro Manila’s Line 3 mass transit rail system is having for…God knows how long, it has become a tiring and uneasy job for me to write about yet another issue about this darned rail line. Especially if you have been keeping abreast with the news about the metropolitan mass transit system for a long while now, which in my case, precedes that of the Urban Roamer. (which is turning 5 soon, but that’s another matter altogether)

courtesy of NewsTimes.net

But what happened last Wednesday afternoon, August 13, is something for the books. Who would have thought we would get to this record low? Maybe some of us did and it was just of matter of when. Still the fact that it actually happened is depressing that no snark or joke can alleviate the rage many of us feel for the failure of the people at the top in addressing the longstanding issues of mass transport.

Continue reading