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MANILA
 Philippines

Manila Rapid Transit Map 2003 © UrbanRail.Net

 System

Metro-Manila, the metropolitan area of the capital of the Philippines is home to some 10 million people. A light metro system (Mass Rail Transit - MRT), which runs mainly elevated, is being developed:

LRT 1 is a fully elevated north-south route opened 1 Dec. 1984 (7 km) and June 1985 (8 km). It runs along Rizal and Taft Avenues (15 km, 18 stations). The capacity of the line was increased in 1998. The line runs on a precast concrete structure 7 m above the street, designed to withstand earthquakes. It has 1435 mm gauge and 750 V overhead power supply. Average station distance is 825 m, stations are only accessible via stairs, there are no elevators or escalators. Central, Monumento (northern terminal) and Baclaran (southern terminal) function as transfer station to buses and jeepneys. Trains operate in 2-4 car units (one unit 29.3 m long, 2.5 m wide), which have roof ventilation.

MRT 3 (popularly called Metrostar) runs elevated along EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Ave.) ring road (except Buendia station which is underground). The central section opened on 16 Dec. 1999, the southern section, which connects to LRT 1 followed on 20 July 2000. The total length is now 16.8 km, once the northern section is built the line will be 24 km. Metrostar trains are air-conditioned.

LRT 2 (Megatren or Purple Line) runs from Manila in the west via Quezon City to Pasig in the east. The line is elevated except for Katipunan station, which is underground. Construction of this line started in 1998 and it runs along Recto Ave, Magsaysay Blvd and Aurora Blvd. The full length from Santolan to Recto Ave. is 13.8 km with 11 stations. Although called LRT, this line uses heavy rail metro vehicles. A footbridge linking the Purple Line to the Yellow Line eventually opened in March 2005.

 

 History

01 Dec 1984 - LRT 1 - Baclaran - Central Station
xx June 1985 - LRT 1 - Central Station - Monumento
22 Mar 2010 - LRT1 Monumento - Balintawak
22 Oct 2010 - LRT1 Balintawak - Roosevelt

16 Dec 1999 - MRT 3 - North - Buendia
20 July 2000 - MRT 3 - Buendia - Taft

05 April 2003 - LRT 2 - Santolan - Cubao (4.3km)
05 April 2004 - LRT 2 - Cubao - Legarda (4.2km)
29 Oct 2004 - LRT 2 - Legarda - Recto

 

 Projects

LRT 2 is being extended east (4 km) to Masinag Junction in Antipolo, Rizal (2011). A western 1-station extension to the Divisoria market area is being examined.

LRT 1 extension south (also LRT 6, 12 km) had been planned for a long time, but postponed time and again. The first phase stations are named (from Baclaran) Redemptorist, Manila International Airport (or MIA), Asia World, Ninoy Aquino, Dr. Santos, Manuyo Uno, Las Piñas, Zapote, Talaba, and Niyog. Further phases will take Line 1 southwards to Imus (11km) and later to Dasmariñas (11km).

Although initially planned as an MRT 3 extension, the gap between the two lines (Monumento - North) is now being built as a 5.7 km LRT 1 extension, with intermediate stations at Roosevelt and Balintawak.

MRT 7 is under construction and will run northeast from North Station on MRT 3 along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City up to Tala in Caloocan City, and the adjoining municipality of San Jose del Monte in Bulacan (23 km, 14 stations; see details here)


- MRT 4 had been planned to become a 22.6 km (20 stations) mostly elevated line running northeast from Doroteo José/Recto in Manila to Quirino Highway in Novaliches (Quezon City) connecting with North Ave. Stn. on line 3 and passing through España, Quezon, Commonwealth and Regalado Avenues. The project was divided into two phases:
Phase 1: the section Old Bilibid - Batasan (15.1km) passing through España St., Quezon Blvd. and Commonwealth Ave. 14 stations: Old Bilibid, UST, Mendoza, Antipolo, Welcome Rotonda, Araneta, Roosevelt, Timog, Edsa, Quezon City Hall, Philcoa, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio and Batasan -> now being built as MRT 7.
Phase 2: Batasan - Quirino Highway in Lagro (7.5km). 36 light rail vehicles are proposed to operate, providing a capacity of 550,000 passengers per day. Instead of the phase 2 section, the mostly elevated MRT 9 has been proposed instead:

It would begin at the North-EDSA in Quezon City intersection and would be linked with the other MRT 3, MRT 7 and Light Rail Transit (LRT) North Extension. The line will traverse West Avenue and Quezon Avenue in Quezon City and would end in Manila via España. The MRT 9 will then be interconnected to LRT 2 in Recto and LRT 1 Central Terminal in Manila via the Quezon Boulevard route. This line will be extended to Intramuros Rizal Park up to Port Area. The MRT 9 stations include Baler, Timog, Roosevelt, Araneta, Welcome Rotonda Central Terminal, Antipolo (España), A.H. Lacson (España), Morayta, Quezon Boulevard (Quiapo), Taft Avenue (City Hall) and Rizal Park (Manila Hotel).

- MRT 8, or East Line, will traverse 48 km with several tunnel sections (7.8 km) from Pililla to Santa Cruz, Laguna. Phase 1 will run for 16.8 km on elevated double-track guideways from Santa Mesa, Manila, to Taytay, Rizal; then from Taytay to Angono, Rizal, serving to decongest Manila, Mandaluyong and Pasig, and the towns of Cainta, Taytay and Angono. It will follow the general alignment of Shaw Boulevard and Ortigas Avenue and entail construction of 14 stations.

The Philippine National Railway has begun work on converting track running through the city for use as an light rail transit corridor. The line will be electrified and would service the main train station Tutuban, connecting with LRT 1 at Blumentritt, the future MRT 4, LRT 2 (the alignment puts the station between Pureza and V. Mapa), and MRT 3 (between Boni and Guadalupe, though it is closer to Boni) and eventually to the Airport.

 

 Photos
MRT 2 train © Jayo Santiago MRT 2 train © Jayo Santiago LRT2 Recto  © Willy Kaemena MRT3 Shaw © Willy Kaemena
Photos 1-2 © Jayo Santiago, 3-4 © Willy Kaemena
 Practical Info

LRT 1: 5:00 - 21:00
MRT 2: 5:00 - 22:00 Mon-Fri, 6:00-20:00 Sat-Sun
MRT 3: 6:00 - 22:00, every 3 minutes during peak hours, every 5-7 minutes at other times.

- FARES

LRT 1: 12-15 pesos per ride

LRT 2: 12-15 pesos per ride

MRT 3: 10-15 pesos per ride

In July 2003, a new system was presented which in the future will create a common network, including three urban lines and two suburban lines (PNR Northrail and Southrail), all sharing the same ticket.

 

 Links

Light Rail Transit Authority - Official Site

MRT 3 - Metrostar - Official Site

LRT1 & LRT2 at Wikipedia

MRT3 at Wikipedia

Strong Republic Transit System

2 interesting articles in Japan Railway & Transport Review (1998) by E. Razon and G.L. Satre (History)

Railway Technology - Manila MRT 3 Project

MRT 7 Project

 

 

MRT 1 © Elson Trinidad MRT 1 © Elson Trinidad MRT 3 © Elson Trinidad

Photographs courtesy © Elson Trinidad

Manila MRT MRT3 Shaw © Willy Kaemena
Photo 2 © Willy Kaemena

 

MAIL

2007 © Robert Schwandl (UrbanRail.Net)