Public Transportation in Manila – A Vroomster’s Travel Guide

Yes, Manila’s traffic is notoriously bad … and to add insult to injury, it becomes easy to get involved emotionally and worse, to lose one’s cool in gridlock, with bumper-to-bumper traffic at any time of the day or night. However, with fun-loving and charming traits of the Manileños, filled with the city’s rich history, along with reliable and easy public transport systems in place, Manila surprisingly remains as one of the favorite city destinations for foreign and local tourists in the region of the Philippines!


Fast and cheap, the LRT and MRT transport systems are the most convenient way to beat the traffic of Manila, while taxis can be used to explore many historic sites and attractions around the metro. Jeepneys are cheap and can emerge on almost every corner at nearly any time. Buses can be spotted in the city highways, while tricycles and pedicabs are normally situated in the busy small streets of Manila. Riding a decorated kalesa, once a major attraction at Luneta Park (also known as Rizal Park) in Intramuros, is slowly vanishing, but still worth a ride at least once, especially for tourists.

By Manila Light Rail Transit

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Manila’s metro system can be a smart choice if you want to avoid the city’s notorious traffic. However, expect and get ready to deal with long queues, especially during rush hour.

With three lines available: the LRT and MRT2 and the MRT, the Light Rail Transit and MRT rail systems connect to the shopping malls and well-known entertainment areas of the city.

Note that the LRT has two elevated lines. The LRT-1 runs from Monumento in the north to Baclaran in the south, interchanging with the MRT at the corner of EDSA and Taft Avenue near Pasay Rotonda. While the LRT-2 runs from Recto in the west to Santolan in the east, interchanging with the MRT in Cubao.

Since its introduction, Manila’s metro system has metamorphosed the overall face of public transportation in the Pinoy capital, providing both citizens and visitors a fast air-conditioned ride around the Metro – avoiding noise and pollution of the busy and congested city roads.

By Taxi/Cab

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Aside from the LRT and MRT, one of the convenient ways to explore Manila is by taxi. Finding a taxi is never difficult. You can simply hail a taxi from roadside at most places, or just by queuing for one at taxi stands positioned around hotels, shopping malls and other tourist attractions. There’s never a shortage taxis in a city that never sleeps, except when there’s a major flooding in Manila, of course!

Mostly new and roomy, all taxis are metered and air-conditioned. Taxi flag-down rate is P30 for regular white taxis and P60 for airport yellow taxis.

Overall, taxis are comfortable and especially handy if you want to go to places not easily accessible by the bus or LRT. If you wish to ride safe, simply download and use GrabTaxi – the fastest and safest taxi booking app. Available on the App Store, you can also get it on Google Play and at BlackBerry World, or just call at +638837100.

By Bus

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Manila’s bus system is a major mode of transportation, especially for long distance travel. It is also inexpensive to get around the city. Most buses in Manila have air-conditioning – a welcome treat in a hot, humid tropical region. In addition, most tour and VIP class long-distance buses are normally sleek with handsome cool features like free Wi-Fi connection and are now equipped with restrooms, while city- and other-class buses are strikingly vibrant with paint color schemes and very visible advertising.

Bus fares are very modest. You can pay your bus fare in cash and need to have exact change. In all, local buses as well as Manila city buses come in different sizes, types, and prices.

By Jeepney


Finally, what would Manila be without the much-loved, iconic jeepneys? Jeepneys can seat 14 to 24 passengers. Note that jeepneys have their destination and stop points displayed on cards on the windscreen and on the sides. For example: Tondo – Divisoria. The basic fare in Metro Manila is P8.

If you are fortunate enough to visit the Philippines capital, make sure you give yourself a treat and catch a ride in a jeepney. Trust me, the fun-ride experience of a jeepney will stay with you forever.

Alternative transport


Alternative options include car rentals, shuttle vans (FX), tricycles, pedicabs.

After discovering all the public transportation in Manila, getting around the metro can be an awesome experience.

Whether you are planning to go to Rizal Park, Gate of Fort Santiago, Quiapo Church, the Malacañang Palace via a taxi/cab, or you want to visit nearby cities like Makati, Fort Bonifacio, and Eastwood City, Libis, there are many places and things to do here like shopping, dining, drinking and clubbing – these are some of the popular places.

We at VroomVroomVroom hope that our transportation guide in Manila will help you during your next visit. What do you think is the most convenient public transport to get around the Metro? Do you favor riding a taxi/cab, or do you want to experience riding in a jeepney? Let us know what you think, using the Disqus comment box below!



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