Coming off from a post on quick facts on North Ave to Cubao MRT stations, here’s the continuation:
Santolan: If you’re not a fan of big crowds, then this might be the station for you. This station, by estimates, will have the smallest commuter volume and foot traffic. The station is not directly in the Santolan-EDSA station but is still a bit of a walk southbound in the vicinity of Camp Aguinaldo and Camp Crame (AFP and PNP HQ respectively). The lack of commuter volume works to its disadvantage though at times. Given its location, on a southbound rush hour morning, the trains that pass by are already jampacked coming from 4 heavy stations. The lack of volume here will probably not merit a skipping train just to clean the station, and the few people will not help you push your way into the train either. To get to the other side, you will need to exit the station, cross via overpass on the ‘third floor’, then enter again through the other side.
Ortigas: The station is far from Ortigas Ave-EDSA intersection. Urban legend says that Henry Sy’s Megamall wanted the station near his mall that is why the station is located just a few walks from Megamall A. The station is also near Poveda, ADB, and a bit of a walk further will bring you to Robinson’s Galleria and the EDSA Shrine (the latter two located in the Ortigas-EDSA intersection). The staricases to the station are really high (especially NB) making it not too friendly to our senior citizens. To get to other side, one needs to exit the station, cross the ‘second floor’ overpass, then enter again on the other side.
Shaw Blvd: This station is right on top of the Shaw Blvd-EDSA intersection though on top of the station still is the Shaw Blvd flyover. The station exits you to Shangri-La Plaza, Edsa Central Mall and Starmall (southbound side), and a bit of walk further northbound is already Megamall B. The shortest distance between MRT stations, the span of the Ortigas-Shaw rail is almost just comparable to the width of Megamall. Shaw station is also the first station with central platforms (coming from North) such that SB and NB commuters share the same platform. More Ortigas CBD employees get off at this station compared to Ortigas station because of the terminals near EDSA Central. Staircases on both NB and SB rights are either very steep or very high though.
Boni: The second station (coming from North) with shared central platforms, Boni station is located near Robinson’s Pioneer, and soon SMDC’s Light Residences and Megaworld’s Pioneer Woodlands. A bit of a business district seats here as well, as well as a number of apartments and condos. Given its location, rent should not be as pricey as that in Buendia and Ayala, but travel time to Makati CBD is still quick and easy. Very ideal for yuppies who are rent in apartments and condos and who work in Makati and/or Ortigas CBD. Since the station is sharing platforms, switching between NB and SB trains is fairly easy as well. It’s just that entering the station means climbing up around 3 floors of stairs, only to go down again to the platforms.
Guadalupe: Southbound we see that this is such a high station, making use of a bridge-railway on top of the Guadalupe bridge which in turn is on top of the Pasig River. Northbound though, this is probably the easiest station to climb up to if you’re entering from the Guadalupe market side. If you’re riding the ferry along Pasig River or is going to Loyola Memorial or the San Carlos Seminary, then this is where you should get off the train. It also has an alternative route to Rockwell and Power Plant Mall. To get to the other side, one needs to exit the station, cross the ‘third floor’ overpass, then enter again on the other side.
Buendia: The third station with shared central platforms, and also the first underground station (from North), Buendia station sits right next to the Buendia (now Gil Puyat) and EDSA intersection. Quite a number of commmuters get off at this station as they are usually bound for the business offices along Buendia, or even in Global City along Kalayaan. At this part of EDSA, you’ll really feel that you’re in the business district already given the number of buildings (and the traffic) along the avenue. Since the station is sharing platforms, switching from NB to SB is piece of cake.
Ayala: Need I say more for this station? It is the second and last underground MRT station that gets you through the heart of Makati CBD, along Ayala Ave. The MRT exits you to SM Makati (too bad it does not have cinemas) which is then beside Glorietta, Landmark and Greenbelt. Basically the malls in Ayala Center. On the other side, it will lead you to the Fort Bus terminal which in turn will bring you to Bonifacio Global City (too bad the staircase on this side is very narrow and very pungent due to male piss). Ayala station has a big queueing area as well, comparable to Cubao, as you can imagine the volume of people here when everybody is homebound from work.
Magallanes: Living in Dasma Village? Going to Alphaland Southgate Mall? Or working in Pasong Tamo or Pasong Tamo extension? Then this station is the one for you. This station is also located near the flyover which brings vehicles to SLEX. I just had a bit of an experience here in this station during my OJT days and all I can say is that if you’re commuting to Makati Cinema Square (used to be the hottest mall in town, literally), then you better get off at Magallanes station and ride the jeeps on northbound side. To get to other side, one needs to exit the station, cross the ‘second floor’ overpass, then enter again on the other side.
Taft: The last of the MRT stations, and the last station with shared central platforms. Of course majority of the remaining passengers get off here to continue their journey further south (Mall of Asia, Pasay, Cavite) or to go to the linked EDSA station of the LRT (runs along Taft ave and ends in Monumento which is then linked to MRT North station). Baclaran, and a number of schools such as DLSU, Benilde, UP Manila, are also accessible from this MRT station. The station also exits you to a mini-mall ran by Ayala Corp (Metro Point Mall). Similar to North station, volume of human traffic here is very very heavy. The station as a whole is very big, perhaps bigger than Cubao, but most of the space is used up as walkway towards the platforms, whereas only a smaller portion is allocated as the queueing area for tickets and turnstiles. Hence the heavy traffic.
A knowledge of the train stations will help us get to our destinations faster, without wasting time, energy and of course money. So there. I hope this entry was able to give you quick tips when it comes to MRT stations.