Getting around Manila

Getting around Manila is quite difficult. The transport system is quite complex and extensive. In the provinces, you would only have the jeepney, trycicle, bus (at times), and even a pedicab. In Manila, the bus and jeep are the common ways of getting around. The train is used for inter city travel.

The jeepney- How to ride the jeepney in Manila

In Zamboanga city, you would pay the driver or conductor before getting off the jeepney. In Manila, you pay once you are seated and only to the conductor. You also say 'para' for the jeep to stop whereas in Zamboanga city, you use a coin to make a the jeepney stop.

The bus - How to ride the bus in Manila

In the bus, you pay only to the conductor. The conductor goes around the bus and collects payment. To be safe, tell the conductor where you're going and he would usually announce your destination once you get there. The conductor announces the common stops though, such as malls, main roads, and train stations.

LRT/MRT - How to ride the LRT and the MRT

The LRT/ MRT is probably the quickest way of going from city to city in Manila. Usually, you would be standing all the way through your station. The important thing to remember is to watch out for your stop. A sign indicating the name of the station can usually be seen around the stop. Remember that the fare is 15 pesos for all destinations in the LRT but differs in the MRT depending on the stop. There is no need to tell the ticket seller in the LRT where you're going since the fare is same for all destinations. That rule does not follow for the MRT. After paying for your ticket, insert it to the machine (in the slot found in front of you). Keep that ticket (it'll come out on the slot on top of the machine) since you'll be needing that to get out of the station. The same process goes for getting off the MRT / LRT. A good practice is to observe how people are doing it.

Click here for the MRT fare guide.

Here is the MRT and LRT route map.

Source: http://www.urbanrail.net

Commuting in Manila is definitely a challenge. Just don't hesitate to ask if you are in doubt. In asking questions, choose decent looking persons (security guards and policemen).

Just one more thing, beware of muggers. Do not use your cellphone when you are in public transportation.

Good luck and don't get lost!

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