Most Filipinos do not own a car simply because most of them cannot afford to buy one, cannot be approved for a car loan due to their economic status, and some of them just left the idea of owning a car in their dreams. Having said that, public transportation is a big role to every Filipino, almost all Filipinos have experienced riding a jeepney, tricycle, pedicab, bus, shuttle and the MRT/LRT. These modes of public transportation help the common man to go on their daily lives. But let me just focus on one, the train system in Metro Manila or what we all call, the MRT and the LRT. The Manila LRT is the first metro rail transit system in SouthEast Asia, older by three years than Singapore MRT. It has been one of the major achievements of the Marcos Administration giving the public a new way of transportation within Metro Manila, fast and hassle-free. Fast forward today, we now have 3 major train lines; the Yellow Line which is the oldest (opened in 1984) now has 22 stations, the Purple Line (opened in 2003) with 11 stations and the MRT (opened in 1999) with 13 stations. These 3 train lines are somewhat connected to each other but not totally linked efficiently like the Singapore MRT and SBS Transit systems inSingapore.
As an everyday commuter, I ride the purple line almost 4 times a week and I can’t help but to compare our train system toSingapore’s train system (having been there several times). One is LRT/MRT ticketing system, if you ride the yellow line and need to alight at a station in the purple line, you need to buy 2 tickets, one for the yellow line and another for the purple line. And yes, you cannot buy the tickets at the same time. So you need to buy before boarding the yellow line and you need to buy another one before boarding the purple line, and you have to do it again going back. Imagine how hassle it can be, not unless you want to buy a stored-value ticket worth P100 to avoid the inconvenience, but you have to buy 3 of those, each per train line. If only our government can upgrade our ticketing system just like in Singapore’s SMRT/SBS transit wherein you can buy one ticket and you can use it in any train line (Singapore has 5 lines, 134 stations linked altogether throughout the entire city), less hassle, less time and energy, not to mention how fast their trains are.
Other issues are the trains, there are trains that I think are older than me that are still being used, LRT/MRT officers, security, cleanliness, elevators and escalators and the list goes on and on. But one thing that I want to focus on is how the LRT and MRT use their LED TVs for business and not for benefit of the public. There are around 8 to 10 LED TVs in each station showing commercial products advertisements. When I first noticed the TV, I spent time watching all the ads because I thought after 4 ads, there will be an information video about the security measures the LRT/MRT is doing and what they are expecting for the public to do as well to prevent what had happened last 2000 (Rizal Day Bombing), I was expecting something like this:
But after watching all the ads, the only information video I saw was on how to do business with them by placing ads on those LED TVs. Frustrated, after I got home, I sent an email to LRT, MRT and to the DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas suggesting to use those TVs for the benefit of the public. Surprisingly, no one replied.
I am not against placing advertisements on those TVs, what I want is to use that medium to inform the public about the different security measures everyone can do to prevent such cases from happening just like in Singapore. Sure, place 4 advertisements but after that make sure that we have this info video which will make the public realize that everyone should be vigilant.
My apologies from some grammatical errors, did not proof-read. Just ranting. LOL