Metros in The Philippines: Manila Metro Rail Transit System (MRT-3)

Manila is the capital of the Philippines. Over 100 languages are spoken in the city. However, most people speak Filipino and English. Manila has a population of over 1.7 million people, making it the second most populated city of the country. This city has a wide variety of ethnicities. Tourism is one of the most important economic activities in Manila. Some of the famous holidays in the city are Manila Day and Rizal Day. The city’s airport is called Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Public transportation in Manila is comprised of trains from the Light Rail Transit System, the metro, buses, ferries, trains from the Philippine National Railways, and jeepneys. In some cases, you could also ride a horse-drawn carriage. The metro is owned by Metro Rail Transit Corporation.

History

The construction of Manila’s metro service was proposed during the 80s. During this period of time, another train service, called Light Rail Transit System (LRT,) was being built. The metro service was originally going to be line 3 of LRT, until it became its own separate service. The metro was going to begin construction in 1989, but the construction was stopped because the government had issues with the metro’s contract. After fixing the issues with the contract, the metro began construction on October 15th, 1996.

The metro was inaugurated on December 15th, 1999. During the inauguration year, the metro only offered rides between the regions of Buendia and North Avenue. Only 10 stations were available when the metro was opened to the public. The remaining three stations were opened to the public on July 20th, 2000.

MRT-3 Manila train towards Ayala Station

Lines and stations

The metro has one line, called the MRT Line 3. This line is comprised of 13 stations. The stations’ names are:

1. North Avenue: This station, just like most stations in this metro, is elevated. It is located in North Avenue, near Epifanio de los Santos Avenue in Diliman, Quezon City. This is one of the terminals of the metro. There is a warehouse for the metro’s rail cars near the station. The next station in line is Quezon Avenue station. There are many malls near this station, such as SM City North EDSA and TriNoma. From this station, you can go to Sogo Hotel North EDSA, the Philippine Medical Association, the Philam Soccer Field, Triangle Park, Quezon Memorial Circle, Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center, among other places.

2. Kamuning: It is located in Quezon City in Scout Area of Diliman, close to Barangay Kamuning. An alternate name for the station is GMA-Kamuning. The next station in line to Araneta Center - Cubao. You can board bike taxis, taxis, buses, and jeepneys near the station. Some points of interest near this station are The Public - Private Partnership Center, the GMA Network, the Land Transportation Office, the National Statistics Office, the Department of Public Works and Highways, the Quezon City Hall, and the Philippine Heart Center.

3. Quezon Avenue: This station is located in Quezon Avenue, Quezon City, in Diliman. The next station in line is Kamuning. From this station, you can also board jeepneys, buses, and taxis. The closest mall is Centris Walk shopping center. Some important places located near this station are PAGASA Complex, ABS-CBN, Court of Tax Appeals, the Office of the Ombudsman, the Lung Center of the Philippines, and Centris Station.

4. Santolan - Annapolis: It is located near Santolan Road and Annapolis Street, between San Juan City and Quezon City. An alternate name for this station is Santolan Station. The next station in line is Ortigas. The closest mall is Greenhills Shopping Center. You can board bike taxis that are located close to this station. Other important places near this station are the headquarters of the Philippine National Police, Camp Aguinaldo, Barangay Wack Wack Greenhills East, and V.V. Soliven Building.

5. Araneta Center - Cubao: It is located in Quezon City in Cubao, close to Araneta Center. An alternate name for the station is Cubao Station. The next station in line is Santolan - Annapolis. This station is also a station for the trains from the LRT line 2. The closest malls are Ali Mall, Farmers Plaza, and Gateway Mall. A popular destination is Smart Araneta Coliseum, where concerts and sporting events are held.

6. Shaw Boulevard: It is located above Shaw Boulevard, in Ortigas Center. This is the only station that has both a spur route and a reserve route. The next station in line is Boni. This station is in the middle of the metro’s network. There are jeepneys with air conditioning nearby. This station also works as a terminal for jeepneys. The closest malls are Pavilion Mall, Shangri-La Plaza, Starmall, and SM Megamall. The headquarters of CNN Philippines is nearby. Some nearby recreational facilities are Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, PhilSports Arena, and Ynares Sports Arena. Other important places that are nearby are EDSA Shangri-La Hotel, University of Asia and the Pacific, the headquarters of the Department of Education, St. Paul College Pasig, Capitol Commons, Lourdes School of Mandaluyong, San Miguel Corporation Building, and Astoria Plaza.

7. Ortigas: It is located at Ortigas Center in Mandaluyong, and close to Ortigas Avenue. The next station in line is Shaw Boulevard. The closest places to board a bus or a taxi are SM Megamall and Robinson’s Galleria. The closest shopping centers are St. Francis Square Mall, The Podium, SM Megamall and Robinson’s Galleria. The nearby points of interest are Meralco, the Philippine Stock Exchange, UnionBank, the headquarters of the Asian Development Bank, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, Securities and Exchange Commission, the Department of Transportation, La Salle Green Hills, Saint Pedro Poveda College, Oakwood Premier, Crowne Plaza, Meralco Theater, EDSA shrine, The Medical City, among others.

8. Guadalupe: It is located in Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati. The next station in line is Buendia station. The closest mall is Guadalupe Shopping Center. You can board auto rickshaws close to this station. It is located near the Pasig River. The theological colleges of Our Lady of Guadalupe Minor Seminary and San Carlos Seminary are near this station. Among the important places close to this station are the University of Makati, the Makati City Hall, Hotel Sogo, Nuestra Señora de Gracia Church, and Guadalupe Nuevo Cloverleaf Park.

9. Boni: It is located between Pioneer Street and Boni Avenue in Mandaluyong. The next station in line is Guadalupe. An alternate name for this station is Boni Avenue Station. Markets and restaurants are near this station. There is a nearby bike taxi terminal. There is also a nearby terminal for jeepneys. Students frequently use this station since it is close to Rizal Technological University. Although most stations use side platforms, this station uses an island platform. Other important places nearby are the Go Hotel, Forum Robinsons, Robinsons Cybergate, TV5 Media Center, SM Light Residences, Victor Potenciano Medical Center, Paragon Plaza Building, and GA Twin Towers.

10. Ayala: This station is located in San Lorenzo, Makati, close to Ayala Avenue and Ayala Center. This is the second underground station for the metro. The next station in line is Magallanes. This is one of the stations with the biggest number of elevators, escalators, and stairs. There is a mall inside the station, and there are restaurants and shops just outside the station. The closest malls are Ayala Center, Greenbelt, Rustan’s, SM Makati, Glorietta, and The Landmark. This is one of the few stations with a reserve track. Close to this station you will find the headquarters of banks like the China Bank, the Bank of the Philippine Islands, the Standard Chartered Bank Philippines, Citibank Philippines, RCBC, and HSBC Philippines. Some hotels that you can find close to this station are the Ascott Makati, the InterContinental Hotel, Peninsula Manila, the New World Hotel, the Dusit Hotel, and the Makati Shangri-La Hotel. Some of the educational points of interest near this station are the Asian Institute of Management, the Ayala Museum, and the Filipinos Heritage Library. Other nearby points of interest are the Dasmariñas villages, the Forbes Park, the Ayala Triangle Gardens, the Bonifacio Global City, and the Philippine Stock Exchange.

11. Buendia: It is located in Gil Puyat Avenue in Urdaneta, Makati. An alternate name for this station is Gil Puyat Station. Unlike most stations in the metro, this station is underground. The next station in line is Ayala. Its platform is an island platform. This station, unlike other stations, has two switch tracks. There are nearby jeepneys that offer rides to Pasay City. Some nearby hotels are the Frasier Place and the Mandarin Oriental. You can find nearby entertainment facilities at Jupiter Street and Makati Avenue. There are many banks in this area. You can reach the headquarters of Banco de Oro, the Metropolitan Bank Trust Company, the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, and the Development Bank of the Philippines. Some other important offices located nearby are the Department of Energy, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, and the Department of Trade and Industry.

12. Magallanes: It is located in Chico Roces Avenue in Magallanes, Makati. The next station in line is Taft Avenue. It also works as a station for the trains of the Philippine National Railways. This is another of the few stations with a reserve track. The station is named after the man who discovered the Philippines. This station is close to an important highway known as the South Luzon Expressway. The closest malls are the Magallanes Center, the Makati Cinema Square, and the Alphaland Southgate Mall. The schools near the station are the Colegio San Agustin - Makati, Asia Pacific College, Don Bosco Technical College, Assumption College, and Makati Hope Christian School. Some of the important business offices near this station are the headquarters of GlaxoSmithKline and Levi’s. You can take buses within this station that go to the South Luzon Expressway. You could also take jeepneys to Pasay, Makati Central Business District, and to Makati.

13. Taft Avenue


manila metro

MRT-3 Connections

The metro makes connections with buses, trains from the Light Rail Transit System (LRT,) and ferries. The connections available at each station are the following:

  • 1. North Avenue: buses from North Terminal.
  • 2. Ortigas: buses from Philtranco Clark Airport.
  • 3. Araneta Center-Cubao: buses, and trains from LRT 2.
  • 4. Ayala: buses from Bonifacio Transport Corp.
  • 5. Guadalupe: ferries from the Pasig River Ferry Service.
  • 6. Taft Avenue: buses from Philtranco Clark Airport, and buses from Ninoy Aquino International Airport, and trains from LRT 1.
  • 7. Magallanes: trains from LRT at South Main Line.

Connection to the airport

The closest metro station to Ninoy Aquino International Airport is Taft Avenue station. To go from this airport to Taft Avenue, you must first walk to Roxas - NAIA Bus station Northbound. Then, board the Coastal Mall - Navotas Terminal via EDSA bus, and travel towards Navotas for 18 minutes. After four stops, get off at EDSA Taft Avenue Bus Station. Finally, walk around 290 meters to Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, Pasay, 1300.

Schedules, timetables, and calendar

- Monday through Friday:

    1) Frequencies of departure:
  • 1.1) 4:30 am to 6:30 am: five minutes.
  • 1.2) 6:30 am to 9:30 am: four minutes.
  • 1.3) 9:30 am to 4:30 pm: six minutes.
  • 1.4) 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm: four minutes.
  • 1.5) 7:30 pm to 10:30 pm: five minutes.

2) Opening and closing times: Opens at North Avenue station at 4:37 am, and closes at Taft Avenue station at 10:40 pm.

- Saturdays and Sundays:

    1) Frequencies of departure:
  • 1.1) Saturdays: six minutes.
  • 1.2) Sundays: 8 minutes.
    2) Opening and closing times:
  • 2.1) Saturdays: Opens at North Avenue station at 4:38 am, and closes at Taft Avenue at 10:40 pm.
  • 2.2) Sundays: Opens at North Avenue station at 4:50 am, and closes at Taft Avenue at 10:40 pm.

- Holidays:

  • 1) Frequencies of departure: 8 minutes.
  • 2) Opening and closing times: Opens at North Avenue station at 4:50 am, and closes at Taft Avenue station at 10:40 pm

Prices, tickets and cards

Prices will be shown in Philippine Pesos (abbreviated as P) (1 US Dollar = 49.82 P.)

There are four types of tickets: Single Journey Ticket (between 13 P and 28 P,) Single Journey Discount (between 13 P and 28 P, with 20% discount for people with disabilities and for seniors,) Stored Value Ticket (100 P,) and Stored Value Ticket Discount (100 P, with 20% discount for people with disabilities and for seniors.)

Tips in MRT-3

  • 1) Stored Value Tickets are not valid for trains in neither LRT line 1 nor line 2. If you want to make connections from the metro to LRT 1 and 2, buy a SRTS Flash Pass. This pass is valid for rides in LRT 1, 2, and the metro. It is only sold at a few select ticket booths. The Flash Pass gives unlimited rides for one week.
  • 2) Wear light clothing since the metro is hot.
  • 3) Boarding the metro during peak hours is not recommended. There is barely any space available during these hours. Peak hours are from 6:30 am to 9:30 am and from 4:30 pm until 7:30 pm.
  • 4) Buy Stored Value Tickets to avoid doing lines each time that you need to buy a ticket. The Stored Value tickets last for 90 days.
  • 5) Try going to the least crowded stations to avoid being cramped while travelling on the metro. The least crowded stations are Santolan - Annapolis, Kamuning, Magallanes, and Ortigas. The most crowded stations are Taft Avenue, Araneta Center - Cubao, Shaw Boulevard, and Quezon Avenue.
  • 6) Keep your belongings in front of you while boarding the metro.
  • 7) There a high probability that you will have to remain standing while travelling on the metro. Therefore, keep your balance to avoid falling. Sometimes, there will not be any handrails to help you keep your balance.
  • 8) If you are a female, you need to be seated in any of the two frontal wagons. Otherwise, you need to go to any of the remaining wagons.
  • 9) Do not push other passengers. Also, go to the middle of the metro to let other people enter the metro.
  • 10) You could listen to music or use a similar form of distraction to enjoy the ride when the train is crowded.

Rules in Metro Manila

  • 1) You cannot drink nor eat in either the stations nor in the metro.
  • 2) Smoking is not allowed.
  • 3) Taking pictures in the metro or the stations is prohibited.
  • 4) Stay away from the edge of the platform. It is dangerous since you could fall to the tracks.
  • 5) Do not bring weapons, inflammable objects nor hazardous materials to the metro.
  • 6) Inspectors may check your belongings. They may also use a portable metal detector.
  • 7) You cannot bring animals to the metro.
  • 8) People under the influence of alcohol or drugs are not allowed to board the metro.
  • 9) You can bring objects with a maximum length and height of up to five feet (1.5 meters.)
  • 10) You cannot bring tin cans to the metro.
  • 11) All the stations are monitored by surveillance cameras.
  • 12) There are wanted posters for people who have stolen the belongings of other passengers. If you see any of the thieves, contact the metro’s police force.

Fun facts

  • 1) All trains have air conditioning.
  • 2) The metro is ridden by over 900,000 passengers per day.
  • 3) The pre-recorded voices in the metro speak in Tagalog and in English. For instance, they say “Padating na sa [name of the station],” which means “Arriving at [name of the station.]” Another pre-recorded message is “Ang susunod na istasyon ay [station name,]” which means “Next station: [name of the station.]”

Future expansions

A new line, line MRT 7, has been proposed. This line will have the following stations: San Jose del Monte, Quirino, Tala, Regalado Avenue, Mindanao Avenue, Manggahan, Doña Carmen, Don Antonio, Batasan, Tandang Sora, Don Antonio, Quezon Memorial, University Avenue, and North Avenue. The current line will be expanded to increase ridership to over 510,000 people per day. To do this, new trains have been purchased. Around 50 Light Rail Vehicles were bought from the company Dalian Locomotive.

Nearby attractions

Araneta Center - Cubao station will be used as a reference point. Follow these instructions to reach these attractions by using the metro:

1) Manila Cathedral: The trip lasts one hour and 10 minutes. From Araneta Center - Cubao, board the metro, and head towards North Avenue for 25 minutes. After 9 stops, get off at Taft Avenue. Then, walk to EDSA. Board a LRT line 1 train, and head towards Roosevelt for 14 minutes. After 7 stops, get off at Central Terminal Station. Finally, walk towards Sto. Tomas, Intramuros, 1002, Manila Cathedral.

2) Coconut Palace: The trip lasts one hour and 15 minutes. From Araneta Center - Cubao, board the metro, and head towards North Avenue for 16 minutes. After six stops, get off at Buendia. Then, board the Baclaran - Malanday via EDSA Ayala bus, and head towards Malanday for 35 minutes. After five stops, get off at Gil Puyat Avenue. Finally, walk to Cultural Center of the Philippines Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Coconut Palace.

3) Plaza San Luis: The trip lasts one hour and 35 minutes. From Araneta Center - Cubao, board the metro, and head towards North Avenue for 25 minutes. After 9 stops, get off at Taft Avenue. Next, board the Alabang - Quiapo bus, and head towards Alabang for 40 minutes. After 7 stops, get off at Ayala Boulevard. Finally, walk to Intramuros, Plaza San Luis Complex.

4) Metropolitan Museum of Manila: The trip lasts one hour and 10 minutes. From Araneta Center - Cubao, board the metro, and head towards North Avenue for 14 minutes. After six stops, get off at Buendia. Next, board the Baclaran - Malanday via EDSA Ayala bus, and head towards Malanday for 35 minutes. After five stops, get off at Gil Puyat Avenue. Finally, walk to BSP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Malate.

5) Mehan Garden: The trip lasts one hour and 30 minutes. From Araneta Center - Cubao, board the metro, and head towards North Avenue for 26 minutes. After 9 stops, get off at Taft Avenue. Next, board the Alabang - Quiapo bus, and head towards Alabang for 45 minutes. After 8 stops, get off at Manila City Hall. Finally, walk to Ermita, Mehan Garden.

Metro map of Manila

Metro map of Manila Full resolution
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Manila MRT map

  • Also Known As: MRT
  • Passengers/Day 948000
  • Fares: 0.18
  • 24h operation: No
  • Air Conditioning: Yes
  • Walk between platforms: Yes
  • Driverless trains: No
  • Screen Doors Platforms: No
  • Average Speed: 60km/h
  • Operator: Department of Transportation and Communications Metro Rail Transit Corporation
  • 10 pesos
  • Manila Metro Official Website

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