Saturday, October 24, 2009

Take two trains and call me in the morning



You probably know what it feels like to ride a train: it's cramped, hot, and there's never a good time to ride especially during weekdays.

Growing up, I was never obsessed with trains. I didn't play with toy trains, nor did I ever recall asking my parents to buy me a set. I've always been more into cars.

Nowadays however, I love trains. And not because they're the stuff of childhood fantasy, but because I consider them as the cure to many of life's little ailments - mine at least.

As a longtime city driver I've become sick of anything with four wheels. My car is the root of many frustrations. From losing my cool because of discourteous drivers to freaking out because of an overheated engine, I have become well aware of the many cons of driving. It's a losing battle, and I know I could do without it.

I admit, I only take the train whenever it's convenient, but I try to take it as often as possible. The following are my top reasons for preferring the train over any other mode of transportation.
  • It's better for the environment 
A no-brainer. The MRT carries a lot of passengers in one go making it more efficient than buses or jeepneys. It's also powered by electricity so there's significantly less toxic emissions.
  • Good for health
It may not be much of an exercise, let alone an ideal one because of all the pollution, but climbing up stairs gets the old heart working. A great pre-work warm up if I may say so myself.
  • No maintenance and gasoline costs
The MRT fare tops out at P15 and you can never, ever beat or match that price with a car.
  • Flood and traffic jam-proof
Anyone who says that the MRT is too cramped for comfort has not tried driving to work every day. Muscling it out with other passengers is nothing compared to being stuck in traffic. So you bump into people, big deal. At least that bump won't cost you thousands of pesos in repairs.
  • No need for parking
Tell me to drive to Baclaran, I'm 100% sure I'll say no. Tell me to take the LRT and I'll say yes in a heartbeat. I love going to Carriedo to check out the latest bargain electronics. If I drive there, I'll probably be too worried about finding a parking spot to be able to enjoy the visit.

  • You learn more about the city
When we lived in Singapore the train allowed us to discover and frequent quaint places that we otherwise would not have known about had we taken the bus or taxi. Same goes here with the MRT. I discovered this great factory outlet in a mall at the corner of Taft Avenue and EDSA. I was able to buy three pairs of brand new, branded pants for 600 bucks.
  • It's safer
I used the word safer because trains are not completely without it's share of mishaps and miscreants. Pickpockets are common and there have been bombing incidents in the past. Still, they happen less frequently compared to the others.

FUN FACT: Did you know that  a comprehensive plan for Metro Manila's train system has been laid out? Check out this photo and I bet you'll get excited at what the future has in store for commuters.

To know more about Metro Manila's train system, visit the following links.
[photo]

27 comments:

mich said...

Trains has been a way of life on most countries. You would notice that main terminal stations are usually located in the heart of the cities. I am still hopeful that one day I will be able to travel from Manila to Batangas - on a train!

The King said...

when that day comes I'll have bulalo every weekend. I hope Rose & Grace restos will still be around by then. =)

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browneyedgirl said...

is the wikimedia map for real?? that gen. kalentong station would really be a big help to me. still, manila's train system is nothing compared to hk and singapore's. if we had something as efficient and clean as that here, all my problems would be solved.

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