In the Philippines, especially in Metro Manila during rush hour, it takes guts and determination to stomach all kinds of traffic as a commuter. With gas and diesel prices at an all-time high this year and schools and offices starting to reopen, many Filipinos have begun to resort to public transportation to arrive at their destinations on time.
A public transportation system many commuters rely on in the country is the Metro Manila Rail Transit System (MRT).
The Metro Manila Rail Transit System (MRT) is a rapid transit system in the Philippines that primarily serves Metro Manila. The MRT, along with the Manila Light Rail Transit System (LRT) and the Metro Commuter Line of the Philippine National Railways (PNR), make up the rail infrastructure many commuters rely on in Metro Manila.
Brief Overview of MRT’s History
While the MRT was supposed to become the LRT line 3, it became a separate service, and its construction began in 1989, but the MRT only started operating in 1999. Back then, the transit system only offered rides from Buendia to North Avenue, having only ten stations. In 2000, three more stations became open to the public, and 22 years later, the 13 stations still stand.
If you’re new to commuting or have already forgotten how to commute using the MRT, you’re in luck! Because in this article, we’ve prepared a “how to commute using the Philippines’ MRT” guide. So, if you don’t want to get late (or worse, lost), keep reading this article, where you’ll find out everything there is to know before riding the MRT.
First, let’s familiarize ourselves with the 13 stations. Because, duh! We have to know at least where they’re at, right?
MRT Stations in the Philippines
The North Avenue Station is the first of the 13 stations, and its location is near Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City. This station is also near SM City North EDA and TriNoma.
Like most stations in the transit system, the North Avenue station is elevated and is accessible through a flight of stairs on both one from the southbound and the other from the northbound lane.
The second station, the Quezon Avenue Station, is also located in Diliman, Quezon City. This station is near the Eton Centris Mall and the ABS-CBN ELJ Building.
Like the first station, the Quezon Avenue station is also elevated from the ground and along EDSA.
The station after the Quezon Avenue Station is the Kamuning Station, also commonly known as GMA-Kamuning. Located in the Scout Area of Diliman, the Kamuning station is near GMA (obviously).
Kamuning Station is near the National Statistics Office (NSO), the Land Transportation Office (LTO), the Quezon City Hall, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), and the Philippine Heart Center.
Araneta Center – Cubao
The fourth station is the Araneta Center – Cubao Station, also known as the Cubao Station. From its name itself, this station is near the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Araneta Center – Cubao Station is also near the Ali Mall and Gateway. Similar to the previous stations, this station is also along EDSA.
Santolan – Annapolis
The Santolan – Annapolis Station is near Santolan Road and Annapolis Street, hence its name. This station is known as Santolan Station and stands between San Juan and Quezon City.
Santolan Station is near the Greenhills Shopping Center, the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters, Camp Aguinaldo, Barangay Wack Wack Greenhills East, and V.V. Soliven.
The Ortigas Station is the sixth of the 13 stations, and its location is at Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong, specifically Ortigas Avenue.
It is near the Philippine Stock Exchange, La Salle Green Hills, Saint Pedro Poveda College, EDSA Shrine, Crowne Plaza, and the Department of Transportation (DOT).
The seventh station is the Shaw Boulevard Station, also in Ortigas Center. Shaw Boulevard Station is the only station with three tracks, one reserve track, one spur track, and one termination track.
The station is near the Pavilion Mall, Shangri-La Plaza, Starmall, and SM Megamall. It’s also near schools such as; Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, the University of Asia and the Pacific, and St. Paul College Pasig.
The Boni Station, also known as the Boni Avenue Station, is between Pioneer Street and Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong.
This station is close to Jose Rizal University (JRU), SM Light Residences, GA Twin Towers, Robinsons Cybergate, and the TV5 Media Center.
The ninth station, Guadalupe Station, is located in Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati. It’s the station nearest to the Pasig River.
This station is near the Guadalupe Shopping Center, Nuestra Senora Gracia Church, the University of Makati, and Makati City Hall.
The Buendia Station is located in Gil Puyat Avenue in Urdaneta, Makati. It’s one of the two underground stations among the 13 MRT stations and the only one with an island platform.
This station is near Mandarin Oriental and Frasier Place. Many government offices are nearby this station, such as the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The eleventh station and the second underground station is the Ayala Station in San Lorenzo, Makati. Ayala Station is the only station that has a mall inside of it.
This station is close to Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Rustan’s, SM Makati, Glorietta, the Makati Shangri-La Hotel, and Peninsula Manila.
The station after Ayala Station is Magallanes Station on Chico Roces Avenue in Magallanes, Makati. This station is also for the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
This station is close to the Alphaland Southgate Mall, Magallanes Center, the Makati Cinema Square, and schools, Don Bosco Technical College and Assumption College.
The Taft Avenue Station is the last of the 13 stations, and its location is in Pasay, at the intersection of EDSA. It’s close to the Metropoint Mall, Saver’s Square, and the Winston’s Lodge.
This station is connected to the Green Line EDSA Station, so it’s a pick-up and drop-off point for commuters traveling to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), Bay City, or SM Mall of Asia.
How to Ride the MRT Train
1. Pass through the security check.
First, enter the station entrance through the security check.
2. Purchase a train ticket.
You can get train tickets from any ticket counter or automated vending machine at each station. There are two tickets: a Single Journey Ticket and a Stored Value Ticket.
Single Journey Tickets you can use once on the day you purchased it and ranges from PHP13 to PHP28, depending on your starting and ending station.
Stored Value Tickets you can use multiple times and is valid for three months. This kind of ticket costs PHP100.
If you see yourself commuting often, consider purchasing a Beep Card, which is a reloadable card that you can use for fare payments on the MRT, LRT-1, and LRT-2.
3. Enter the train station.
Tap your card on the designated space in the turnstile and enter the train station. Walk to one of the platforms and then wait for the train to arrive.
4. Board the train.
Before boarding the train, first, let the descending passengers get off the train. Once inside, find a seat or a spot with something you can hold onto, like a handrail.
5. Ride the train and wait for your stop.
Be on the lookout for station name signs on every station. That way, you won’t get lost. But don’t worry, the MRT train driver will announce every approaching station through the train speakers.
6. Get off the train and exit the station.
If you have a Single Journey Ticket, insert it into the slot at the turnstile to exit the station. If you have a Stored Value Ticket or Beep Card, simply tap your ticket or cards again at the designated space.
Tips on Riding the MRT
Try your best not to ride the MRT during rush hour (4:00 PM TO 8:00 PM). That’s when it’s the busiest. You’ll struggle to get a seat, and the trains are usually fully loaded.
Place your valuable items like your wallet and your phone in a secure place at all times. Make sure to place your bags at your front at all times.
If you see a PWD, Senior Citizen, or Pregnant Woman boarding the train, you should always let them get a seat before you.
It’s best to stand near handrails and poles. You have to hold onto something because you might lose balance when the train starts running or stops.
If you’re a student, senior citizen, or PWD, you should apply for discounts when buying tickets or even the beep card.
Whether you’re going to work or school or if you’re going out to visit a park or a mall, you should know the basics of public transportation.
Even if you have a car of your own, using our country’s public transportation like the MRT is much cheaper and friendlier to the environment.
We hope you use this guide to become a well-informed and responsible commuter. And we hope you get to wherever you have to go safely and on time!