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Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2

The Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2, also known as MRT Line 2, LRT Line 2, MRT-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.

MRT-2 Train Santolan 1.jpg
Santolan station platform area
TypeRapid transit / Heavy rail
SystemManila Light Rail Transit System
LocaleManila, Philippines
Daily ridership179,967 (2018 average)[1]
241,125 (2018 record)[1]
WebsiteOfficial website
OpenedApril 5, 2003[2]
OwnerLight Rail Transit Authority
Operator(s)Light Rail Transit Authority
Rolling stock72 Class 2000 EMUs[2]
Track length16.75 km (10.41 mi)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
ElectrificationOverhead line
Operating speed60–80 km/h (37–50 mph)
Route map

Santolan Depot
Marikina River
Left arrow Quirino Highway - FTI Right arrow
 NAIA Terminal 3 Right arrow
Araneta Center–Cubao
Left arrow North Avenue - Taft Avenue Right arrow
Betty Go-Belmonte
J. Ruiz
San Juan River
V. Mapa
  FTI / Alabang / Calamba Right arrow
Left arrow University Avenue
 1  8 
Left arrow Roosevelt - Baclaran - Niog Right arrow
Left arrow Gov. Pascual - Valenzuela
Pier 4

Although the line is operated by the Light Rail Transit Authority, resulting in it being called as "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 opening of Line 7 in 2020 and Line 9 (Metro Manila Subway) in 2025.

Envisioned in the 1970s as part of the Metropolitan Manila Strategic Mass Rail Transit Development Plan, the eleven-station, 16.75-kilometer (10.41 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, the line 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[clarification needed] 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[clarification needed] effect on ridership, and experts have insisted that the extensions be built immediately, despite pronouncements that the system is steadily increasing ridership each year. Regardless, the line encounters periods of peak ridership during rush hour in the morning and the evening.

The line 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.


Metro Manila Rapid Rail System map as of July 2015
A train approaching Katipunan station

The line serves 11 stations on 16.75 kilometers (10.41 mi) of line.[2] 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.

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 Line 3; and Recto station is connected via covered walkway to the Doroteo Jose station of the Line 1.

Name Distance (km) Transfers Location
Between stations From Santolan
Masinag none Antipolo City, Rizal
Emerald Marikina City
Santolan 0.000 BFCT East Metro Manila Transport Terminal Marikina City
Pasig City (depot)
Katipunan 1.970 1.970 none Quezon City
Anonas 0.955 2.925 Line 9 (Metro Manila Subway)
Araneta Center–Cubao 1.438 4.363 Line 3
Betty Go-Belmonte 1.164 5.527 none
Gilmore 1.075 6.602
J. Ruiz 0.928 7.530 San Juan City
V. Mapa 1.234 8.764 City of Manila
Pureza 1.357 10.121 PNR Metro Commuter Line
Legarda 1.389 11.510 none
Recto 1.050 12.560 Line 1
Tutuban PNR Metro Commuter Line
Divisoria none
Pier 4 North Port Passenger Terminal
Stations in italics are either under construction, not yet operational, or have been closed.

The line 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.[3]


A eastbound train on the viaduct near Marikina River towards Santolan station
J. Ruiz station platform area
A westbound LRTA Class 2000 heading towards Nagtahan Interchange.

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 Line 2 project officially began in 1996, twelve years after the opening of 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.

On May 18, 2019, a trainset with the train No. 18 had broken down in between the Cubao and Anonas stations at 2:00 PM and was subsequently moved to the emergency pocket track at Cubao station waiting to be towed back to the depot. However at 9:15 PM, the train was reported to have moved on its own from the emergency pocket track towards the eastbound rail track going towards Santolan station. At this time, a trainset with the train No. 13 was going towards Santolan station from Cubao station on the same track. The runaway train was reported via radio but eventually ran into train No. 13, injuring 34 passengers, with none in critical condition. The driver of one of the two trains was reported to have jumped out of his train before the collision, sustaining wounds and bruises. Revenue operations were suspended to give way to maintenance checks, and normal operations resumed at 10:47 AM the next day.[4][5]

On October 3, 2019, a power trip caused rectifier substations located between the Anonas and Katipunan stations and in the Santolan depot to catch fire at around 11 in the morning, cutting the line's power supply in the area. Line operations from Recto to Santolan were suspended at 11:24 am, and passengers were evacuated from the line with no injuries. The LRTA, MMDA and the Philippine Coast Guard immediately deployed shuttle buses to help ferry stranded passengers. Partial operations between Cubao and Recto stations resumed on October 8, 2019 while Santolan, Katipunan and Anonas Stations are expected to reopen after nine months. The initial estimated amount of damages is at around PHP428 million.[6]

Station facilities, amenities, and servicesEdit

Santolan station, the only station on the line with an island platform.
The entrance to Santolan station as seen from the Marikina-Infanta Highway
Bridge linking the Recto station to the nearby Line 1 Doroteo Jose station

With the exception of Katipunan station, all stations are above ground.

Station layout and accessibilityEdit

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 persons with disabilities. 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 servicesEdit

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 stations.

Safety and securityEdit

The line 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".[7]

With an estimated daily ridership of 200,000 passengers, the line operates significantly below its designed capacity of between 570,000 and 580,000 passengers per day. Operating under capacity since 2004,[8] government officials have admitted that system extensions are overdue, although in the absence of major investment in the system's expansion, LRTA has resorted to experimenting with and/or implementing other solutions to maximize the use of the system, including having bus feeder lines.[9]

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 line. Products in tin cans are also prohibited, citing the possibility of home-made bombs being concealed inside the cans.[10]

In response to the Rizal Day bombings and the September 11th attacks, security has been stepped up on board. The Philippine National Police has a special police force,[11] and security police provided by private companies can be found in all stations. All stations have a head guard. Some stations may also have a deployed K9 bomb-sniffing dog. The line 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 the trains. Wanted posters are posted at all stations to help commuters identify known thieves.

Fares and ticketingEdit

A sample single journey ticket bearing the face of then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo released in 2004.

The line, like all existing lines in Metro Manila, 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 line 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.

Types of ticketsEdit

Four types of 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.

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 Line 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, Line 3 borrowed tickets from LRTA rather than recycling the old "Erap tickets", due to the same ticket shortages.[12]

Despite the common practice for regular 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 LRTA lines and the steady release of new tickets that addresses the problem.

Although the LRTA, together with Line 3 has experimented with the Flash Pass as an alternative ticketing system in the past, this was phased out in 2009.

On July 20, 2015, a new ticketing system called Beep was introduced. The Beep is 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 adjustmentEdit

Adjusting passenger fares has been employed by the LRTA as a means to boost flagging ridership figures, and the issue of fares both historically and in the present continues to be a political issue.

Current fare levels were set on January 4, 2015 which has been delayed for several years despite of inflation and rising operating costs.[13] 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 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,[14] and which for both the MRTC and the LRTA reached ₱75 billion between 2004 and 2014. Without subsidies, the cost of a single trip is estimated at around ₱60.[14]

Rolling stockEdit

Route Map above the door
Inside the train

The line 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 the rolling stock of Lines 1 and 3.

Trains in the line 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.

In 2018, The Ventilation of the Trains are currently being upgraded to replace the aging air-conditioning of all trains, and alleviate complaints of the commuters for hot rides.[15]

The LRTA is also acquiring 14 additional train sets by 2020 to augment the existing 18 sets, due the expected increase of passengers ahead of the East Expansion, and the West Expansion.[16]

Rolling stock First-generation 2000 series[17][18]
Year 2003
Manufacturer Hyundai Rotem and Toshiba
Number Built (cars) 72 (32 cars in service,[19] 4 cars in routine maintenance[18])
Length 22,500 mm (23,800 mm w/ Couplers)
Width 3,200 mm
Height 4,100 mm (Pantograph lock down)
Body Material Stainless steel
Empty Weight 152,000 kg (4 car Train set)[20]
Configuration MC-TC-TC-MC
Capacity 1628 passengers

(232 seated 1396 standing

@ 7 passengers per m2)[18]

Doors 1400 mm wide ; Interior sliding type;


Drive Unit Gear coupling(WN) Drive
Traction Power 1,500 V Single Arm Pantograph
Traction Controller IGBT-VVVF Type
Traction Motor 120 kW AC Induction Motor
Top Speed 80 km/h
Status In Service


The line 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 line. It is connected to the mainline 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.


East ExtensionEdit

Construction of Masinag Station (June 2018)
Construction of the viaduct for the East Extension Project (November 29, 2016)

The line's East Extension is currently under-construction which adds 4-kilometer (2.5 mi) of new line, starting from the eastern terminus of Santolan Station up to Masinag in Antipolo. The extension calls for two additional stations, one is in Barangay San Roque, 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.[21] 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 4th Quarter of 2020. 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 ExtensionEdit

A 3.02-kilometer (1.88 mi) west extension of the line 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 but has expired and is awaiting revisions and a new approval. The construction of this said extension would create three stations, one near the Tutuban PNR station, one in Divisoria, and one near the North Port Passenger Terminal in Manila North Harbor's Pier 4 which would serve as its terminus.[22] In an interview held with LRTA Administrator Ret. Gen. Reynaldo Berroya, he stated that they are aiming to finish the project by 2022.

According to the Line 2 West Extension Project Management Office, the civil works, trackworks, electromechanical system (EMS), and rolling stock of the Line 2 West Extension is projected to begin by the second quarter of 2020 and end by the second quarter of 2023. The total project cost is estimated to be PHP 10,118.46 million, inclusive of consultancy services, which will take place from 2019 to 2024. As of April 25, 2019, the procurement of consultancy services is ongoing.[23]

On October 2019, the project is now under bidding process, consisting 3 stations, the Tutuban Station, the Divisoria station, and the Pier 4 station, with a planned completion of the project eyed on 2023.[24]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Monthly Ridership - Line 2 System Ridership" (PDF). Light Rail Authority. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "The Line 2 System". Light Rail Transit Authority. Archived from the original on 2014-10-11. Retrieved 2014-06-10.
  3. ^ Ronda, Rainier Allan (March 31, 2010). "LRT, MRT closed for Holy Week". The Philippine Star. PhilStar Daily, Inc. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  4. ^ Barcelon, Paolo. "Authorities to probe Line 2 collision that injured 34". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  5. ^ Rita, Joviland. "Probe underway into Line 2 trains collision; 34 hurt". GMA News. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  6. ^ "LRT2 temporarily halts operation due to power supply problem caused by fire". GMA News Online. Retrieved 2019-10-05.
  7. ^ World Bank (December 2, 2004). "A Tale of Three Cities: Urban Rail Concessions in Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Manila – Final Report" (PDF). Author: 17. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (Prepared by Halcrow Group Limited).
  8. ^ Climate-Eval (GEF IEO) (August 2009). "Republic of the Philippines: Metropolitan Manila Strategic Mass Rail Transit Development-Line 2" (PDF). Author. Retrieved August 18, 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help) (Prepared by Sanshu Engineering Consultant)
  9. ^ Light Rail Transit Authority (October 29, 2013). "Interim Performance Scorecard for CY 2013" (PDF). Author. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2014. Retrieved August 18, 2014. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  10. ^ LRTA issues directive imposing ban on tin cans Archived 2006-08-19 at the Wayback Machine, Manila Times, August 10, 2005
  11. ^ New task force formed to keep LRT, MRT safe Archived 2005-08-28 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Tribune, November 13, 2004
  12. ^ MRTC borrows value tickets from LRTA Archived 2004-01-05 at the Wayback Machine, Manila Times, November 12, 2003
  13. ^ "LRT-MRT FARES TO BE INCREASED ON JAN.4". Department of Transportation and Communications. Archived from the original on December 25, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Diokno, Benjamin E. (December 17, 2013). "Folly of government subsidy". BusinessWorld. BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation. Retrieved April 25, 2014.
  15. ^ Layug, Margaret Claire (May 17, 2018). "Replacing Line 2 aircon units may take up to 12 months-LRTA". GMA News Online. Retrieved May 17, 2018.
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Railway Systems-Project Record View". Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  18. ^ a b c
  19. ^ Line2 (20 February 2018). "8 trains/32 coaches running with 7 minutes headway this morning. Moderate to heavy volume of passengers at Santolan and Katipunan. Moderate at Anonas and Cubao (Westbound). Light to moderate in all other stations". @OfficialLRTA. Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  20. ^ "Railway Systems-Project Record View". Retrieved 2018-02-22.
  21. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-06. Retrieved 2012-08-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Neda Board OKs 9 big projects, Business Mirror, retrieved September 6, 2012
  22. ^ "President Aquino approves Line 2 extension to Manila port area, 6 other infra projects". Interaksyon. Archived from the original on 22 May 2015. Retrieved 20 May 2015.
  23. ^ "Feasiblity Study for Line 2 West Extension Project". Freedom of Information Philippines. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  24. ^ News, ABS-CBN. "LOOK: Gov't to build 3 more Line 2 stations". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 14 October 2019.

External linksEdit