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

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

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