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The Manila Metro Rail Transit (or better known as MRT or Blue Line) has been the main mode of transportation of commuters traveling along Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Metro Manila, gaining tremendous popularity since its opening a decade ago. Latest statistics show that there are 10-12 million passengers every month, with around 400,000-500,000 on a daily average.
This post shall discuss: (1) Fares and Tickets; (2) Schedule; (3) Trip Guide; (4) Stations; (5) Safety Guidelines
Fares and Tickets
Fare ranges from 10 pesos to 15 pesos depending on how far you are from your destination. A trip from Taft Avenue to Quezon Avenue (and also North Avenue) would cost 15 pesos, while a trip to Ayala would only be 10 pesos. To be sure, it is advisable to just bring 30 pesos if you are traveling back and forth through the MRT. There are two types of magnetic card tickets: Single Journey and Stored Value. The former is only for one-time use only while the latter holds a P100 value that can last for a workweek for short distance commuters.
Weekdays - The MRT service starts at 5am and ends at 11pm. From 5am to 11pm, the MRT has trains arriving within 3 to 5 minute intervals.
Weekends - The MRT service starts at 5am to 11pm only.
The MRT is also known to be a "roller-coaster" type of rail transit due to the leveling of its platforms/stations. Most of the stations are elevated but two stations are underground (Ayala and Buendia), while another two are at-level to EDSA (Taft Avenue and EDSA). The stations have relatively the same setup which makes it easier for commuters to remember the steps in order to ride the MRT. There's the entrance to the station (where inspection happens), ticket booths, the entrance to the platform, and the platform itself. Once you have bought a ticket, next step is to proceed to the platform (there's a grace period of 75 minutes when you have entered the platform). The train coach for women is separate from men to prevent harassment.
There are 13 stations in Metro Manila, which spans five (5) cities, from North Avenue in Quezon City to the the southern tip in Pasay, which is Taft Avenue. The list of stations, as well as major landmarks, are as follows:
1. North Avenue (Quezon City) - SM North and Ayala Trinoma. QC Circle is also nearby.
2. Quezon Avenue (Quezon City) - ABS-CBN Network Station and the closest link to University of the Philippines. QC Circle is also nearby.
3. GMA-Kamuning (Quezon City) - GMA Network Station and Timog Avenue is already accessible.
4. Araneta Center-Cubao (Quezon City) - Araneta Coliseum, SM Cubao, Ali-Mall, various provincial bus stations, Aurora Boulevard, Gateway Mall, New Farmer's Plaza, and the closest link to Ateneo de Manila University. There are also jeepneys here that go to Pasig and passes by Eastwood. This also serves as the link of MRT to the LRT 2 Line (also known as the Purple Line) that starts from Santolan Station in Marikina to Recto Avenue in Manila.
5. Santolan-Annapolis (Quezon City) - Camp Crame (PNP Headquarters)and Camp Aguinaldo (AFP Headquarters)
6. Ortigas Avenue (Pasig City) - SM Megamall, EDSA Shrine, Robinson's Galleria, Greenhills, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, Poveda Learning Center, St.Francis Square, and Podium
7. Shaw Boulevard (Mandaluyong City) - Shangri-La Plaza, EDSA Central, StarMall, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, and also SM Megamall.
8. Boni (Mandaluyong City) - Pioneer Plaza, Robinson's, Cybergate, and Victor Potenciano Medical Center
9. Guadalupe (Makati City) - San Carlos Seminary, Guadalupe Shopping Center. This is also the nearest link to Rockwell Center, Power Plant Mall, and even the Makati City Hall (there are jeepneys that pass by Guadalupe, Rockwell, and J.P. Rizal where the City Hall is). This also links the MRT to the Pasig Ferry Line through the Guadalupe Ferry Station.
10. Buendia (Makati City) - Nearest link to the Makati Central Business District (Makati CBD). From this station, one can also ride a bus to the MMDA Main Headquarters in Orense (though the building is between Buendia and Guadalupe stations, it is still practical to go down at Buendia and take a bus that is northbound).
11. Ayala (Makati City) - Ayala Center, Glorietta, SM Makati, Greenbelt, Landmark, nearest link also the Makati CBD. This is also the nearest link to Fort Bonifacio and McKinley Hill through the Mckinley Road.
12. Magallanes (Makati City) - Alpha Southland Mall, Pasong Tamo, Dasmarinas Village entrance, South Super Highway, Little Tokyo, Paseo de Magallanes, Asia Pacific College, Glaxo Smith Kline, and San Lorenzo Place
Recently, the LRT1 Yellow Line was extended to link to the MRT. Three more stations were added to the LRT 1 Yellow Line to "connect" the Monumento Station to MRT's North Avenue. These stations are: Balintawak, Roosevelt, and SM North.
See below a simple map that shows the MRT Blue Line:
Follow the MRT Route around Metro Manila and see the nearest attractions through our interactive map.
When riding in the MRT, one should take note that some things may not be brought inside the platform for security reasons, such as: inflated balloons, large luggages, any open bottles or cans, quantity of fluids such as chemicals, pesticides, and gasolines. Wrapped items such as gifts are permissible, however, the security guards will advise the passenger to open the gift for inspection. It is, of course, already understood that one cannot ride the MRT drunk, under influence of restricted drugs, or insane as these may cause some harm to the innocent passengers.
Also, be careful with your belongings, particularly valuables such as wallets and jewelry, as this is a public transportation. During rush hour, the volume of passengers double or triple; this happens between 6 to 9 in the morning and 5 to 8 in the evening. It is advisable, that if time still permits, to be earlier or postpone the trip until after the rush hour. Women also have their own separate train coach to prevent harassment from occurring due to some reported cases and also, injuries due to physical contact during rush hour.
Also, do not step beyond the yellow lane on the platforms. Besides hearing an eardrum-breaking whistle from the platform guards, it is also very risky when you fall on the tracks!
For other information, one can visit the Manila Metro Rail Transit website.
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