If you’re from Metro Manila, you’ve surely heard of the Metro Manila Subway construction that started in 2019. Well, here’s some good news for you: it’s expected to be partially operational by 2023 and fully operational by 2027. This means that we can use the Metro Manila Subway as early as next year!
However, this development still begs the question of how much it will alleviate the capital region’s traffic problem. And will it finally reset the standard to a fast and hassle-free Philippine commute? Let’s discuss!
The Big Red Light
According to a study held in 2018, Metro Manila loses Php 3.5 billion per day due to traffic congestion. Another study ranked Philippine traffic as the 9th worst in the world.
This abysmal evaluation is due to a variety of factors. But in reality, the main culprit is that there are too many people living in Metro Manila.
With that said, it already seems as if there is a big red light stopping us. But of course, we the people, our brightest minds, and our elected officials have not given up!
The Project of the Century
Enter the Metro Manila Subway (MMS), formerly known as the Mega Manila Subway, the first fully-underground rapid transit line project in Metro Manila.
Dubbed as the ‘Project of the Century’, the P357-billion Metro Manila Subway is among the Duterte administration’s largest (and most ambitious) projects under the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
The line will span a total of 36 kilometers and link key areas within the capital district starting from Valenzuela up to NAIA Terminal 3. It will have a total of 17 stations connecting Pasig, Makati, Taguig, Parañaque, Pasay, and Quezon City.
Moreover, the subway connects to the DOTr’s North-South Commuter Railway (NSCR) project. The NSCR is a 148-km train line from Clark, Pampanga to Calamba, Laguna and is expected to help alleviate Metro Manila’s overcrowding.
According to the DOTr, the Metro Manila Subway is 25% complete and is expected to be partially operational by 2023.
So what does this all mean for us, moving forward?
For starters, we have to use our imagination a little bit.
Imagine that we’re in 2027, and the Metro Manila Subway fully opens. People will flock it “for the hype” and for the first time enjoy an efficient, high-speed, and fully-functional subway system.
Within weeks, the subway is integrated into the life of the Filipino daily commuter due to its speed, comfort, and reliability. Fast forward a couple of years, and a substantial decrease of cars on the road with people opting to ride the much faster alternative. Moreover, we will see fewer people living in the capital region as people trace their roots back to their respective provinces. Atop the subway and the NSCR, add the progressive rehabilitation of our older train lines (LRT-1, LRT-2, MRT, PNR).
Sounds great, right? If things go as planned, then this may also be implemented in major Philippine cities that face similar congestion problems down the road. Until then, let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope for the betterment of our country!