LRT 1 LRT 2 MRT 3 Mass Transit
LRT 1 & LRT 2
Manila Light Rail Transit System, popularly and informally known as the LRT, is a metropolitan rail system serving the Metro Manila area in the Philippines.
Quick and inexpensive to ride, the system serves 2.1 million passengers each day. Its 33.4 kilometers (20.8 mi) of mostly elevated route form two lines which serve 31 stations in total. LRT Line 1 (LRT-1), also called the Green Line (formerly Yellow Line), opened in 1984 and travels a north–south route. LRT Line 2 (LRT-2), the Blue Line (formerly Purple Line), was completed in 2004 and runs east–west. The original LRT-1 was built as a no-frills means of public transport and lacks some features and comforts, but the new LRT-2 has been built with additional standards and criteria in mind like barrier-free access. Security guards at each station conduct inspections and provide assistance. A reusable plastic magnetic ticketing system has replaced the previous token-based system, and the Flash Pass introduced as a step towards a more integrated transportation system.
Many passengers who ride the system also take various forms of road-based public transport, such as buses, to and from a station to reach their intended destination. Although it aims to reduce traffic congestion and travel times in the metropolis, the transportation system has only been partially successful due to the rising number of motor vehicles and rapid urbanization. The network’s expansion is set on tackling this problem.
The network consists of two lines: the original LRT Line 1 (LRT-1) or Green Line, and the more modern LRT Line 2 (LRT-2), or Blue Line. The LRT-1 is aligned in a general north–south direction along over 17.2 kilometers (10.7 mi) of fully elevated track. From Monumento it runs south above the hustle and bustle of Rizal and Taft Avenues along grade-separated concrete viaducts allowing exclusive right-of-way before ending in Baclaran. A four-station east–west extension along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue that will connect Monumento to the North Avenue MRT Station is currently under construction. Including the extension’s two recently opened stations, Balintawak and Roosevelt, the LRT-1 has twenty stations. The LRT-2 or Line 2 consists of eleven stations in a general east–west direction over 13.8 kilometers (8.57 mi) of mostly elevated track, with one station lying underground. Commencing in Recto, the line follows a corridor defined by Claro M. Recto and Legarda Avenues, Ramon Magsaysay and Aurora Boulevards, and the Marikina-Infanta Highway before reaching the other end of the line at Santolan. The system passes through the cities of Caloocan, Manila, Marikina, Pasay, Pasig, Quezon City, and San Juan.
Every day around 430,000 passengers board the LRT-1, and 175,000 ride the LRT-2. During peak hours, the LRT-1 fields 24 trains; the time interval between the departure of one and the arrival of another, called headway, is a minimum of 3 minutes. The LRT-2 runs 12 trains with a minimum headway of 5 minutes. With the proper upgrades, the Yellow Line is designed to potentially run with headway as low as 1.5 minutes. The LRT-2 can run with headway as low as 2 minutes with throughput of up to 60,000 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd).
In conjunction with the MRT-3—also known as the new Yellow Line, a similar but separate metro rail system operated by the private Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC)—the system provides the platform for the vast majority of rail travel in the Metro Manila area. Together with the PNR, the three constitute the SRTS. Recto and Doroteo Jose serve as the sole interchange between both lines of the LRTA. Araneta Center-Cubao and EDSA stations serve as interchanges between the LRTA and the MRTC networks. To transfer lines, passengers will need to exit from the station they are in then pass through covered walkways connecting the stations. Blumentritt LRT Station meanwhile is immediately above its PNR counterpart.
Baclaran, Central Terminal, and Monumento are the LRT-1’s three terminal stations; Recto, Araneta Center-Cubao, and Santolan are the terminal stations on the LRT-2. All of them are located on or near major transport routes where passengers can take other forms of transportation such as privately run buses and jeepneys to reach their ultimate destination both within Metro Manila and in neighboring provinces. The system has two depots: the LRT-1 uses the Pasay Depot at LRTA headquarters in Pasay, near Baclaran station, while the LRT-2 uses the Santolan Depot built by Sumitomo in Pasig.
The LRT-1 and LRT-2 are open every day of the year from 5:00 am PST (UTC+8) until 10:00 pm on weekdays, and from 5:00 am until 9:30 pm on weekends, except when changes have been announced. Notice of special schedules is given through press releases, via the public address system in every station, and on the LRTA website.
With the exception of Katipunan (which is underground), the LRTA’s 31 stations are elevated.] They follow one of two different layouts. Most LRT-1 stations are composed of only one level, accessible from the street below by stairway, containing the station’s concourse and platform areas separated by fare gates. The boarding platforms measure 100 meters (328 ft 1 in) long and 3.5 meters (11 ft 6 in) wide. Baclaran, Central Terminal, Carriedo,Balintawak, Roosevelt and North Avenue stations on the LRT-1, and all LRT-2 stations are composed of two levels: a lower concourse level and an upper platform level (reversed in the case of Katipunan). Fare gates separate the concourse level from the stairs and escalators that provide access to the platform level. All stations have side platforms except for Baclaran, which has one side and one island platform, and Santolan, which has an island platform.
The concourse area at LRTA stations typically contain a passenger assistance office (PAO), ticket purchasing areas (ticket counters and/or ticket machines), and at least one stall that sells food and drinks. Terminal stations also have a public relations office. Stores and ATMs are usually found at street level outside the station, although there are instances where they can be found within the concourse. Some stations, such as Monumento, Libertad andAraneta Center-Cubao, are directly connected to shopping malls. LRT-2 stations have two restrooms, but LRT-1 restrooms have been the subject of criticism not only because of the provisioning of a single washroom at each station expected to serve all passengers (whether male, female, disabled or otherwise), but also because of the impression that the lavatories are poorly maintained and unsanitary.
Originally, the LRT Line 1 was not built with accessibility in mind. This is reflected in the LRT-1’s lack of barrier-free facilities such as escalators and elevators. It is also inconvenient in other ways: for one, because of the use of side platforms, passengers wishing to access the other platform for the train bound in the opposite direction at single-level LRT-1 stations need to exit the station (and by extension, the system) and pay a new fare. The newer LRT Line 2, unlike its counterpart, is designed to be barrier-free and allows seamless transfer between platforms. Built by a joint venture between Hanjin and Itochu, LRT-2 stations have wheelchair ramps, braille markings, and pathfinding embossed flooring leading to and from the boarding platforms in addition to escalators and elevators.
In cooperation with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, copies of the Inquirer Libre—a free, tabloid-size, Tagalog version of the Inquirer broadsheet—are available at selected LRTA stations from 6:00 am until the supply runs out.
LRT Line 1
The LRT Line 1 at various stages in its history has used a two-car, three-car, and four-car train. The two-car trains are the original first-generation BN trains (railway cars numbered from 1000). Most were transformed into three-car trains, although some two-car trains remain in service. The four-car trains are the more modern second-generation Hyundai Precision and Adtranz (numbered from 1100) and third-generation Kinki Sharyo / Nippon Sharyo (1200) trains. There are 139 railway cars grouped into 40 trains serving the line: 63 of these are first-generation cars, 28 second-generation, and 48 third-generation. The maximum speed of these cars is 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph)
LRT Line 2
The LRT Line 2 fleet runs eighteen heavy rail four-car trains with lightweight stainless car bodies and 1,500 volt electric motors. They have a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph) and usually take around thirty minutes to journey from one end of the line to the other. Each train measures 3.2 meters (10 ft 6 in) wide and 92.6 meters (303 ft 10 in) long allowing a capacity of 1,628 passengers: 232 seated and 1,396 standing. Twenty sliding doors per side facilitate quick entry and exit. The line’s trains also feature air conditioning, driverless automatic train operation from the Operations Control Center (OCC) in Santolan, low-noise control, enabled electric and regenerative braking, and closed-circuit television inside the trains. Special open spaces and seats are designated for wheelchair users and elderly passengers, and automatic next station announcements are made for the convenience of passengers, especially for the blind.
Safety notices in both English and Tagalog are a common sight at the stations and inside the trains. Security guards with megaphones can be seen at boarding areas asking crowds to move back from the warning tiles at the edge of platforms to avoid falling onto the tracks. In the event of emergencies or unexpected events aboard the train, alerts are used to inform passengers about the current state of the operations. The LRTA uses three alerts: Codes Blue, Yellow, and Red.
Smoking, previously banned only at station platforms and inside trains, has been banned at station concourse areas since June 24, 2008. Full-sized bicycles and skateboards are also not allowed on board the train, although the ban on folding bicycles was lifted
The Manila Light Rail Transit System is one of the least expensive rapid transit systems in Southeast Asia, costing significantly less to ride than other systems in the region] Fares are distance-based, ranging from 12 to 20 Philippine pesos (₱), or about 29 to 47 U.S. cents (at US$1 = ₱42 as of September 2011), depending on the number of stations traveled to reach the destination.] Unlike other transportation systems, in which transfer to another line occurs within a station’s paid area, passengers have to exit and then pay a new fare for the line they are entering. This is also the case on the Yellow Line when changing boarding platforms to catch trains going in the opposite direction.
The Line 1 uses two different fare structures: one for single journey tickets and another for stored value tickets. Passengers using single journey tickets are charged ₱12, ₱15, or ₱20 depending on the number of stations traveled or whether the newly opened Balintawak or Roosevelt station is part of their trip. Stored value tickets are charged on a more finely graduated basis with fares ranging from ₱12 to ₱19. The Line 2, on the other hand, has only one fare structure. Passengers are charged ₱12 for the first three stations, ₱13 for a journey of four to six stations, ₱14 for seven to nine stations and ₱15 for a trip along the entire line.
Currently the system uses two types of tickets: a single journey (one-way) ticket whose cost is dependent on the destination, and a stored value (multiple-use) ticket available for ₱100. Senior citizens and disabled passengers can receive fare discounts as mandated by law. Tickets would normally bear a picture of the incumbent president, though some ticket designs have done away with this practice.
Single journey tickets are only valid on the day of purchase and will be unusable afterward. They expire if not used to exit the same station after 30 minutes from entry or if not used to exit the system after 120 minutes from entry. If the ticket expires, the passenger will be required to buy a new one.
Stored value tickets are usable on either the LRT-1 or LRT-2 lines although a new fare will be charged when transferring from one line to the other. To reduce ticket queues, the LRTA is promoting the use of stored value tickets. Aside from benefitting from a lower fare structure on the LRT-1, stored value ticket users can avail of a scheme called the Last Ride Bonus that grants the use of any residual amount in a stored value ticket less than the usual minimum ₱12 fare, or the appropriate fare for the station of arrival from the station of departure, as a full fare. Stored value tickets are not reloadable and are captured by the fare gate after the last use. They expire six months after the date of first use.
Tickets are used both to enter and exit the paid area of the system. A ticket inserted into a fare gate at the station of origin is processed and then ejected allowing a passenger through the turnstile. The ejected ticket is then retrieved while passing through so that it can be used at the exit turnstile at the destination station to leave the premises. Tickets are captured by the exit turnstiles to be reused by the system if they no longer have any value. If it is a stored value ticket with some value remaining, however, it is once again ejected by the fare gate to be taken by the passenger for future use.
To better integrate the LRTA and MRTC networks, a unified ticketing system utilizing contactless smart cards, similar to the Octopus card in Hong Kong and the EZ-Link card in Singapore, was made a goal of the SRTS] In a transitional move towards such a unified ticketing system, the Flash Pass was implemented on April 19, 2004, as a stopgap measure. However, plans for a unified ticketing system using smart cards have languished, leaving the Flash Pass to fill the role for the foreseeable future. Originally sold by both the LRTA and the Metro Rail Transit Corporation, the Blue Line operator, the pass was discontinued with the election of Benigno Aquino III as President of the Philippines in 2010.
The pass consisted of two parts: the Flash Pass card and the Flash Pass coupon. A nontransferable Flash Pass card used for validation had to be acquired before a Flash Pass coupon can be purchased. To obtain a card, a passenger needed to visit a designated station and fill out an application form. Although the card is issued free of charge and contains no expiry date, it is expected to be issued only once. Should it be lost, an affidavit of loss had to be submitted before a replacement can be issued. The Flash Pass coupon, which served as a ticket, was linked to the passenger’s Flash Pass card through the card number printed on the coupon. Coupons were sold for ₱250 and were valid for unlimited rides on all three lines of the LRTA and MRTC for one week. The card and coupon were used by showing them to a security guard at an opening along the fare gates, who after checking their validity allowed the holder to pass through.
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