Going Around Manila: MRT Ride in the Eyes of a Foreigner

Going Around Manila: MRT Ride in the Eyes of a Foreigner



The Metro Rail Transit or MRT is one of the most popular and widely used modes of transportation when going around Manila, despite the challenges of riding it. It is expected to be a rapid means to go from one point to another, and a traffic jam-free route to go around because it has its own tracks. However, this is not the case and people in Manila who travel to and from work or school riding it would know the challenges of riding the MRT on a daily basis.

The long lines on the MRT has been one of the initial challenges of taking this ride since time immemorial. During rush hour especially in people-packed stops like North Ave., Cubao, Taft, or Ayala, sometimes you already have to queue even from the stairs going up the station. Then, if you don’t have an MRT card, you have to queue again to get one. There are machines that dispense cards, which are expected to make the process quicker, but unfortunately, most of them are broken.

There are also many instances recently when the MRT has been placed in bad light, or should we say “worse” light, if there is even such a phrase. There was this one time when a video of the MRT traveling with open doors went viral. This is an unsafe way to travel on the MRT and this video stirred criticisms from many netizens.

Another mishap that happened on the MRT recently is when one of its trains overshot and slammed a barrier in Taft Station. There were reports of injuries due to this incident and operation of the MRT was paused at that time. From the investigation, authorities of the MRT said, “The derailed train initially stalled between the Magallanes and Taft stations and, following railway SOPs, had to be pushed by the next oncoming train. The two trains were coupled or linked together, but along the way, this coupling disconnected. This caused the derailed train to go past the Taft platform.”

Due to these mishaps and unfortunate events, sometimes it cannot be helped that there are commuters who would express how badly they feel towards riding the MRT. Still, we believe that many of us hope that things get better since there are words spreading that new trains might be coming in the near future and rehabilitation of the MRT are on the way.

Locals have their sentiments on riding the MRT. However, a video has surfaced the Internet showing an American riding the MRT, and while doing so, telling his experience on board the train.

Travis Kraft boarded the MRT one day and took a video of his account while riding the train. He said, “It is a cheap and fast way to get around, but it is hot, crowded, and uncomfortable.”

Take a look at the video he took below.


He begins his ride saying, “Time to get in this… super long line.” It seems his start shows similar sentiments of locals riding the MRT every day.

He emphasized that when riding the MRT, you have to be careful of pickpockets. He said he has been pickpocketed in the past while riding the train. He added that there may also be many perverts on the train who rub up against you.

It seemed that he chose to ride the MRT on the wrong day because he said, “Someone jumped onto the tracks, possibly trying to commit suicide.” This is not an every day occurrence on the MRT, but yes, it could happen and this incident happened recently. Fortunately, the attempt was not successful and MRT operations commenced, and he was able to finish the trip.

Kraft is an American actor, director, public speaker, and athlete visiting Manila. He ended his MRT ride video with a tip, “If you’re visiting Manila, maybe ride it once for the experience. Rest of the time, just take a taxi.”


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Going Around Manila: MRT Ride in the Eyes of a Foreigner