Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2 | Wikipedia audio article
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Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2 | Wikipedia audio article

October 10, 2019

The Manila Light Rail Transit System Line
2, also known as LRT Line 2, LRT-2, or Megatren, is a rapid transit line in Metro Manila in
the Philippines, generally running in an east-west direction along the Radial Road 6 and a portion
of the Circumferential Road 1. Although operated by the Light Rail Transit
Authority, resulting in its being called “LRT-2”, it is actually a heavy rail, rapid transit
system owing to its use of electric multiple units instead of the light rail vehicles used
in earlier lines and is presently the only line utilizing such vehicles in the country
(until the Metro Manila Subway opens in 2025). Envisioned in the 1970s as part of the Metropolitan
Manila Strategic Mass Rail Transit Development Plan, the eleven-station, 13.8-kilometer (8.6
mi) line was the third rapid transit line to be built in Metro Manila when it started
operations in 2003. It is operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority
(LRTA), a government-owned and controlled corporation attached to the Department of
Transportation (DOTr) under an official development assistance scheme. Serving close to 200,000 passengers daily,
LRT-2 is the least busy among Metro Manila’s three rapid transit lines, and was built with
standards such as barrier-free access and the use of magnetic card tickets to facilitate
passenger access in mind. Total ridership however is significantly below
the line’s built maximum capacity, with various solutions being proposed or implemented to
increase ridership in addition to the planned extensions to the line. However, the short-term solutions have had
a minimal effect on ridership, and experts have insisted that the extensions be built
immediately, despite pronouncements that the system is steadily increasing ridership each
year. LRT-2 is integrated with the public transit
system in Metro Manila, and passengers also take various forms of road-based public transport,
such as buses and jeepneys, to and from a station to reach their intended destination. Although the line aimed to reduce traffic
congestion and travel times along R-6 and portions of C-1, the transportation system
has only been partially successful due to the rising number of motor vehicles and rapid
urbanization. Expanding the network’s revenue line to accommodate
more passengers is set on tackling this problem.==The LRT-2 network==The line serves 11 stations on 13.8 kilometers
(8.6 mi) of line. The rails are mostly elevated and erected
either over or along the roads covered, with sections below ground before and after the
Katipunan station, the only underground station on the line. The western terminus of the line is the Recto
station at the intersection Recto Avenue and Rizal Avenue, while the eastern terminus of
the line is the Santolan station along Marcos Highway in Barangay Calumpang, Marikina City. The rail line serves the cities that Radial
Road 6 (Marcos Highway, Aurora Boulevard, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, Legarda Street
and Recto Avenue) passes through: Manila, San Juan, Quezon City, Marikina City and Pasig
City (depot). Three stations currently serve as interchanges
between the lines operated by the LRMC, MRTC, and PNR. Pureza station is near the Santa Mesa station
of the PNR; Araneta Center-Cubao is connected by a covered walkway to its namesake station
of the MRT-3; and Recto station is connected via covered walkway to the Doroteo Jose station
of the LRT-1. The LRT-2 runs from 5:00 a.m. PST (UTC+8)
until 10:00 p.m on weekdays, and 5:00 a.m. PST (UTC+8) until 9:30 pm during weekends
and holidays. It operates almost every day of the year unless
otherwise announced. Special schedules are announced via the PA
system at every station and also in newspapers and other mass media. During Holy Week, a public holiday in the
Philippines, the rail system is closed for annual maintenance, owing to fewer commuters
and traffic around the metro. Normal operation resumes on Monday.==History==During the construction of the first line
of the Manila Light Rail Transit System in the early 1980s, Electrowatt Engineering Services
of Zürich designed a comprehensive plan for metro service in Metro Manila. The plan—still used as the basis for planning
new metro lines—consisted of a 150-kilometer (93 mi) network of rapid transit lines spanning
all major corridors within 20 years, including a line on the Radial Road 6 alignment, one
of the region’s busiest road corridor. The LRT-2 project officially began in 1996,
twelve years after the opening of the LRT Line 1, with the granting of the soft loans
for the line’s construction. However, construction barely commenced, with
the project stalled as the Philippine government conducted several investigations into alleged
irregularities with the project’s contract. The consortium of local and foreign companies,
led by Marubeni Corporation, formed the Asia-Europe MRT Consortium (AEMC) which won the contract
and restarted the project in 2000 after getting cleared from the allegations. The AEMC was subsequently given the approval
to commence construction by the DOTC and LRTA. The LRTA would have ownership of the system
and assume all administrative functions, such as the regulation of fares and operations
as well as the responsibility over construction and maintenance of the system and the procurement
of spare parts for trains. Construction started in March 1996 after the
LRTA signed the first three packages of the agreement with Sumitomo Corporation delivering
Package 1 in which covers the construction of the depot and its facilities, while the
Hanjin-Itochu Joint Venture delivered packages 2 and 3 in which covers the substructure and
the superstructure plus the stations respectively. The final package which was the package 4
agreement was signed after several delays with Asia-Europe MRT Consortium which was
composed of Marubeni Corporation, Balfour Beatty, Toshiba, Daewoo Heavy Industries,
and a local company which was D.M. Consuji Incorporated (DMCI) in which includes
the communications and fares systems, vehicles, and trackworks. During construction, the LRTA oversaw all
the design, construction, equipping, testing, commissioning, and technical supervision of
the project activities. On April 5, 2003, the initial section, from
Santolan to Araneta Center-Cubao was inaugurated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, with
all remaining stations opening on April 5, 2004 except for Recto which opened on October
29, 2004. However, ridership was initially moderate
yet still far below expectations, since the passenger volume in this line is not yet fully
achieved. To address passenger complaints on earlier
train lines, the LRTA made sure during the construction phase that the stations are PWD
(Person(s) with disability) friendly by putting up escalators and elevators for easier access,
as well as making passenger fares at par with the other existing lines.==Station facilities, amenities, and services
==With the exception of Katipunan station, all
stations are above ground.===Station layout and accessibility===
Stations have a standard layout, with a concourse level and a platform level. The concourse is usually below the platform
except for the underground station, with stairs, escalators and elevators leading down to the
platform level. The levels are separated by fare gates. The concourse contains ticket booths. Some stations, such as Araneta Center-Cubao,
are connected at concourse level to nearby buildings, such as shopping malls, for easier
accessibility. Stations either have island platforms, such
as Santolan, or side platforms, such as Gilmore and Recto. Part of the platform at the front of the train
is cordoned off for the use of pregnant women, children, elderly and disabled passengers. At side-platform stations passengers need
to enter the concourse area to enter the other platforms, while passengers can easily switch
sides at stations with island platforms. Stations have toilets at the concourse level. All stations are barrier-free inside and outside
the station, and trains have spaces for passengers using wheelchairs.===Shops and services===
Inside the concourse of all stations is at least one stall or stand where people can
buy food or drinks. Stalls vary by station, and some have fast
food stalls. The number of stalls also varies by station,
and stations tend to have a wide variety, especially in stations such as Recto and V.
Mapa. Stations such as Recto and Santolan are connected
to or are near shopping malls and/or other large shopping areas, where commuters are
offered more shopping varieties. In cooperation with the Philippine Daily Inquirer,
passengers are offered a copy of the Inquirer Libre, a free, tabloid-size, Tagalog version
of the Inquirer, which is available from 6 a.m. at all LRT-2 stations.==Safety and security==
The LRT-2 has always presented itself as a safe system to travel in, which was affirmed
in a 2004 World Bank paper prepared by Halcrow describing the overall state of metro rail
transit operations in Manila as being “good”.With an estimated daily ridership of 200,000 passengers,
the LRT-2 operates significantly below its designed capacity of between 570,000 and 580,000
passengers per day. Operating under capacity since 2004, government
officials have admitted that system extensions are overdue, although in the absence of major
investment in the system’s expansion, LRT-2 management has resorted to experimenting with
and/or implementing other solutions to maximize the use of the system, including having bus
feeder lines.For safety and security reasons, persons who are visibly intoxicated, insane
and/or under the influence of controlled substances, persons carrying flammable materials and/or
explosives, persons carrying bulky objects or items over 1.5 metres (5 ft) tall and/or
wide, and persons bringing pets and/or other animals are prohibited from entering the LRT-2. Products in tin cans are also prohibited on
board the LRT-2, citing the possibility of home-made bombs being concealed inside the
cans.In response to the Rizal Day bombings and the September 11th attacks, security has
been stepped up on board the LRT-2. The Philippine National Police has a special
police force on the LRT-2, and security police provided by private companies can be found
in all LRT-2 stations. All LRT-2 stations have a head guard. Some stations may also have a deployed K9
bomb-sniffing dog. The LRT-2 also employs the use of closed-circuit
television inside all stations to monitor suspicious activities and to assure safety
and security aboard the line. Passengers are also advised to look out for
thieves, who can take advantage of the crowding aboard LRT-2 trains. Wanted posters are posted at all LRT-2 stations
to help commuters identify known thieves.==Fares and ticketing==The LRT-2, like the LRT-1 and MRT-3, uses
a distance-based fare structure, with fares ranging from fifteen to twenty five pesos
(34 to 56 U.S. cents), depending on the destination. Commuters who ride the LRT-2 are charged ₱15
for the first three stations, ₱20 for 4–7 stations and ₱25 for 8–10 stations or
the entire line. Children below 1.02 metres (3 ft 4.4 in) (the
height of a fare gate) may ride for free on the LRT-2===Types of tickets===Four types of LRT-2 tickets exist: a single-journey
(one-way) ticket whose cost is dependent on the destination, a stored-value (multiple-use)
ticket for 100 pesos, a discounted stored value ticket (multiple-use) which can only
be availed by senior citizens and disabled persons, and a single journey ticket for employees
(one-way) which is exclusive for LRTA employees only. The single-journey ticket and the single journey
ticket for employees is valid only on the date of purchase. Meanwhile, the stored-value ticket and the
discounted stored-value ticket is valid for four years from date of purchase. LRT-2 tickets come in four incarnations: one
bearing the portrait of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which have since been phased out, although
some tickets have been recycled due to ticket shortages, one with the LRT-1 third generation
train inauguration together with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, one with the LRT-MRT
closing the loop project design with Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo again in the picture, and
one with a picture of the Hyundai Rotem EMUs used in the line which featured different
designs for the single journey and stored value tickets with the former having a picture
of the train unloading, while the latter is a flipped concept art of the train. In the past, the MRT-3 borrowed tickets from
LRT-1 and LRT-2 rather than recycling the old “Erap tickets”, due to the same ticket
shortages.Despite the common practice for regular LRT-2 passengers to purchase several
stored-value tickets at a time, the line barely has ticket shortages due to the inter-compatibility
of tickets with the LRT-1 and the steady release of new tickets that addresses the problem. Although the LRT-2 has experimented with the
Flash Pass as an alternative ticketing system in the past, this was phased out in 2009. On July 20, 2015, the LRT Line 2 introduced
the new ticketing system Beep, a new contactless smart card to replace the old Magnetic Cards,
starting on the Legarda Station as a trial station. And targeted to be used on all train system
by September 2015. The new Beep has two types of card: the Single
Journey Ticket (SJT) and the Stored Value Ticket (SVT) where the SVT will last for 4
years rather than the old Magnetic card which last for 3 months. The Stored Value Ticket can be bought at any
stations or at the Ticket Vending Machines, that the card alone will cost for ₱20 and
can be loaded ₱12 up to the maximum limit of ₱10,000.===Fare adjustment===
Adjusting passenger fares has been employed by the LRTA as a means to boost flagging ridership
figures, and the issue of LRT-2 fares both historically and in the present continues
to be a political issue. Current LRT-2 fare levels were set on January
4, 2015 which has been delayed for several years despite of inflation and rising operating
costs. Before the recent fare adjustment of LRT and
MRT, the fare levels for the Line 2 were set in April 2004 under the orders of President
Arroyo, meant to become competitive against other modes of transport which resulted in
a drastic increase in the LRT-2 ridership after lower fares were implemented. These lower fares—which are only slightly
more expensive than jeepney fares—are financed through large government subsidies amounting
to around ₱45 per passenger, and which for both the MRTC and the LRTA reached ₱75 billion
between 2004 and 2014. Without subsidies, the cost of a single LRT-2
trip is estimated at around ₱60.==Rolling stock==The LRT-2 runs heavy rail vehicles made in
South Korea by Hyundai Rotem powered by Toshiba made VVVF inverters in a four-car configuration. The trains came in together with the fourth
package during the system’s construction. Trains have a capacity of 1,628 passengers,
which is more than the normal capacity of LRT-1 and MRT-3 rolling stock. LRT-2 trains prominently use wrap advertising. In 2017, the entire train fleet was retrofitted
with the Passenger Assist Railway Display System, a passenger information system powered
by LCD screens installed near the ceiling of the train that shows news, advertisements,
current train location, arrivals and station layouts.===Depot===
The LRT-2 maintains an at-grade depot in Barangay Santolan in Pasig City, near Santolan station
in the side of Barangay Calumpang in Marikina City. It serves as the headquarters for light and
heavy maintenance of the LRT-2, as well as the operations of the system in general which
includes the operation of the driverless trains. It is connected to the main LRT-2 network
by a spur line. The depot is capable of storing multiple electric
multiple units, with the option to expand to include more vehicles as demand arises. They are parked on several sets of tracks,
which converge onto the spur route and later on to the main network.==Plans=====East Extension Project===The LRT Line 2 East Extension Project, is
the currently under-construction eastward extension of LRT Line 2, which adds 4-kilometer
(2.5 mi) of new line, starting from the eastern terminus of Santolan Station in Marikina up
to Masinag in Antipolo. The extension calls for two additional stations,
one is in Barangay San Roque in Marikina near Sta. Lucia East Grandmall; and another in Masinag,
in Barangay Mayamot, Antipolo near SM City Masinag. The National Economic and Development Authority
approved the 2.27 billion pesos extension in September 2012. Groundbreaking was held on June 9, 2015 and
as of April 2017, the viaduct is now complete, which is package one of the three packages
which are part of the east extension project. Meanwhile, Package 2 is the design and construction
of the two additional stations, which Package 3 is the design and build of electro-mechanical
system of the railway, which is from October 2017 until April 2019. The groundbreaking for the construction of
the two stations was held last May 30, 2017. The construction of the two stations is set
to be completed by August 2018. In April 2017, Secretary Arthur Tugade of
the Department of Transportation or DOTr, announced in the Dutertenomics Forum that
the targeted time for the completion of the east extension project is set to be at April
2019. The project aims to accommodate an additional
80,000 passengers and reduce traffic congestion along Marcos Highway. When the project is completed, it will reduce
travel time from Recto to Masinag from 3 hours to only 40 minutes.===West extension===
A 3.02-kilometer (1.88 mi) west extension of LRT-2 to the Manila North Harbor in Tondo,
Manila was proposed. It was approved by the National Economic and
Development Authority (NEDA) last 19 May 2015. The construction of this said extension would
create three stations, one in Tutuban near the Tutuban PNR station, one in Divisoria
close to San Nicolas, and its terminus would be near the North Port Passenger Terminal
in Manila North Harbor’s Pier 4. In an interview held with LRTA Administrator
Ret. Gen. Reynaldo Berroya, he stated that they
are aiming to finish the project by 2022.==See also====References====External links==
LRTA-Manila Light Rail Transit System: Official Line 2 website

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