Reminiscing the Tranvias

Currently, the metropolis is facing serious issues as far as its transportation network is concerned. There is the issue of too many jeepneys plying the metropolitan roads which contribute to the constant heavy traffic the city has been suffering. Then, there is the unreliability of the current mass transit network, particularly that of the Line 3 along EDSA. I suppose I no longer have to elaborate further on that one.

These issues are rooted in a stark and sad reality: the current metropolitan transport system is unorganized and in disarray, needing of a long-overdue total overhaul. What’s even more sad is that it was not always like this. In fact, before World War II, Manila had an extensive and efficient transport system that linked different parts of the city and beyond which consisted mainly of mass transport streetcars that were known here as the tranvias

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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.

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San Miguel Corp. Has An Airport In Mind

When it comes to Manila’s airport…well, there’s nothing much to say about it, is there? Nevertheless, let me state that the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) is not as bad as others paint it to be. If anything, those problems people are citing about NAIA is with mostly with regards to Terminal 1. Terminal 3, while it has some problems, is a significant improvement compared to Terminal 1.

But amenities and facilities of one airport terminal is just part of the problem. In recent years,  air traffic going to and from the airport has risen to such levels that NAIA itself is finding it difficult to address. In addition, the infrastructure around the airport is not enough to meet present and future needs of the airport, not to mention the traffic situation around the airport area. It is clear from these problems being related here that something needs to be done soon. To be fair, there is something being about it. Or should I say, some things?

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Welcome Back, Pasig River Ferry

Today, Manila is all abuzz for two things happening today: the arrival of US President Barack Obama and the reopening of operations of the Pasig River Ferry service. The Urban Roamer will deal with the highlights of the Obama visit as it happens but right now, we will be dealing with today’s reopening of the Pasig River Ferry service in this entry. Continue reading


A Subway for Metro Manila?

Recently, there has been news of the country’s Department of Transportation and Comminication (DOTC) eyeing to build a subway system for Metro Manila to connect the Mall of Asia area to the business districts of Makati and Fort Bonifacio.

Metro Manila subway

the proposed Metro Manila subway system (screenshot grabbed from TV5 newscast)

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