Going Around The Metro
By: Nathalie Santos Dayo
While it is easier and more comfortable to have your own vehicle, for the average Juan de la Cruz, this is not the case. Juan would have to commute to and from his destination every single day. Its a good thing that here in the Philippines one can choose from several mode of transportation that are available to all the regular Juan.
If you need to get from point A to point B fast, you can ride any one of the following:
* LRT Yellow Line this line starts from Monumento and goes all the way to Baclaran.
* MRT Blue Line covers North Avenue in Quezon City to Taft Avenue in Pasay City.
* LRT 2 Purple Line covers Marikina via the Santolan Station up to Manila, Recto Station.
These electric trains have proven to be a great help to those who choose to ride the trains. I have ridden all of these lines and all I could say is that I didnt lose time battling with the traffic.
The other preferred method to travel around the metro is by riding the Mega-Taxis, generally called by the public as FX.
MEGA TAXI FX
These Mega-Taxis seat 10 people, 2 in the passenger seat up front, 4 in the middle and another 4 in the back. It is quite comfortable since they have airconditioners. The fare is a little higher compared to the regular jeepneys, it may cost you between ten peson (Php10.00) to thirty-five pesos (Php35.00) depending on your destination. And just like the jeeps, they have a fixed route, so check the signboards before hailing one.
Provincial and City Buses
Another popular mode of transportation to get around the city is by riding a bus. Most buses ply the EDSA route, going as far as Laguna in the South and Bulacan up North. The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) have put up bus stops along major highways like EDSA which makes it easier for the commuting public to wait for a bus, without having to step out onto the main street.
One time on my way home, I rode an Ordinary Bus (non-air conditioned bus), I heard a foreigner pay for the fare of their group, the conductor handed him tickets which when added, amounts to the sum of the fare for each person. He asked the conductor for the tickets of his friends and the conductor answered politely that what he was holding is good for the entire group. So dont be surprised when you ride the bus and the conductor hands you a bunch of tickets, thats it, its not like in other countries where in there are individual tickets or bus passes for each person.
For short distances, motorized tricycles are available just about every corner of every barangay in the city. Riding this vehicle is always an exciting adventure. The fare is dependent on where you live and where youre going.
Where I live, its more convenient to ride the tricycle going home from the market rather than waiting for the jeeps to pass. The fare from the market to the front of my house is forty peson (Php40.00). When I went to the Ecopark in Quezon City, the fare was just twenty-five pesos (Php25.00) from the corner of Commonwealth Avenue to the tricycle station inside the Ecopark.
The Undisputed King of the Road
You can choose to ride a cab, the electric trains, the tricycles or the Mega Taxis, but you have not experienced Philippine Transportation if you do not ride the Jeepneys. The minimum fare is seven peson (Php7.00), most fare matrices are posted on the back of the front seat.
I ride the jeep everyday, it may sometimes be uncomfortable, cramped at times and hot, but definitely, I get to my destination quite fast too, depending on traffic situations of course.
As you visit our country, you can hire a private car from many rentals, but your Philippine experience will not be complete until you ride the colorful, fun and exciting jeepneys that go around the metro. Just a reminder, check the signboards on the front window of the jeeps to know the route of the jeep before boarding it.
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