Train-ing 101

New milestone for Your City Promdi: Last April 8 was the first time I ever went end-to-end on LRT's purple line. In honor of the occasion, allow me to share the basics of Metro Manila's train network.

(Pssst! If you're new in Metro Manila, then you really need to read this.)

One of the most cost-efficient ways of traversing the metro is through the city's train systems. There are train carriage shortages, World War III situations, and super-personal interaction with strangers in all of them, but the trains are usually your best bet if you want to avoid endless hours of traffic jams and constant exposure to all kinds of smoke.

There are four train systems in Metro Manila: PNR, MRT, LRT 1, and LRT 2

PNR is the oldest of the four--it's 120 years old! It has two main lines called the Green Line (in North Luzon) and Orange Line (Metro Manila and South Luzon). This runs from Tutuban in Manila, through Alabang in Muntinlupa, and on to Bi├▒an in Laguna. I've never been on a PNR train before, but I heard that this is a quick ride. It's beneficial for people commuting between Metro Manila and nearby provinces south.

The MRT runs along and over EDSA, from Taft to North. Some people say this is the backbone of commuting in Manila. And I tend to agree, just because this is the train I use most often. This is the train to take if you want to go to SM North or Trinoma or anywhere north of Manila, ABS-CBN or GMA stations, Cubao, the Philippine Army and Philippine Police camps, Greenhills, Ortigas, Guadalupe, the Ayala Center in Makati, Baclaran or anywhere south of Manila.

The LRT 1 is sometimes called the yellow line (sometimes distinctive, usually covered by ads). It follows the route of Taft, going mainly from the southern end where EDSA and Taft meet. It is connected to the MRT here. It traverses the length of Taft, going north. During Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's time, a loop was completed by connecting LRT 1 to MRT near SM Megamall. People who reside or have business in Caloocan, Manila and Pasay are usually the ones who use this line. This is the line you use if you want to get to SM Mall of Asia, CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Intramuros, the University Belt, National Museum, and Central Terminal (which can lead you to China Town, Quiapo, and Divisoria).

Finally, the LRT 2 is--to me--the connector line, known to many as the purple line. It cuts across Metro Manila from east to west, connecting MRT and LRT 1 through the Cubao and Doroteo Jose stations, respectively. The line starts in Manila and ends in Makina. 


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