Manila, Philippines

Montalban to Trinoma, to SM North, to MRT North Ave Shuttle

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Quickly mentioned previously that among the 2012 developments for Montalban commuters is the inclusion of the Montalban to Trinoma / SM North route in UV Express operations. Now I would like to delve on why this is a major win for Montalban commuters, just like me.

Previously, major shuttle routes only include Montalban to Cubao (via Litex and San Mateo, Marikina) and Montalban to Philcoa. Those employed in business districts such as Ortigas, Makati, Global City or thereabouts will most likely get off in Cubao and take the Cubao MRT. We all know how hard it is to get into a train (and even get inside Cubao MRT station) during the morning rush. Plus all the long multiple queues.

New Alternative

The Montalban-Trinoma route gives southbound commuters more alternatives since it also ends up in an MRT station, the North Ave station. I also find this route faster since travel time from QC Circle to Trinoma is a lot shorter (5 minutes tops) compared to travel time from QC Circle to Farmers, Cubao (15 to 20 minutes on average). This cuts overall travel time and gets commuters to an MRT station much earlier, which makes a whole lot of exponential difference in a morning rush.

North Ave vs Cubao

Both North and Cubao stations have hordes of people lining up just to get through a station (this is really a given in most MRT stations than an exception). Cubao has two sizable queueing areas (area where you buy tickets and queue in the turnstiles). Areas beneath the platforms are sizable too. Occasionally, or rather daily, the lines overflow to the Farmers overpass.

Now in the case of North Ave station, the formal queueing area is a lot smaller. There is also no big area underneath the platforms since it is already the overpass. Hence the lines always overflow to the overpass in Trinoma, plus to the EDSA sidewalks northbound and southbound (quite dangerous really especially on the southbound side).

In spite of higher passenger volume in North Ave, I find loading time a lot faster. In North Ave, you get the “first crack” on southbound trains whereas in Cubao, the train has already loaded in 3 previous stations and chances are, the train is already overloaded. Except for the occassional “skipping trains first loading Cubao” of course but majority of the trains still do first loading in North Ave.

In fact some people in queues even have the luxury of time to wait for the next few trains just so they can be seated instead of travelling all the way south standing.

Slight Disadvantages

No deal breakers really, just some innate disadvantages. For one, it takes more time to fill-up a shuttle going to Trinoma than a shuttle going to Cubao (at least in our area). Maybe the route is not yet fully advertised to commuters, or maybe there are really less passengers who find the Trinoma route more suitable to their needs.

Another one is that “wrestling time” in North Ave is longer than in Cubao. In Cubao, queues to get inside the station are orderly, you just need to wrestle your way inside the trains sometimes (in spite of the lines). In North Ave, the slow walk-ala-Nazareno-Feast starts in the EDSA sidewalks, continues as you line up in the overpass. Inside the stations there are lines as you get inside the trains but we all know that these lines tend to disappear when the MRT doors open. So another wrestling match and boxing out right there.

Still, a good development. Now wondering when will I see Montalban to Ayala shuttle services? Or maybe a Montalban to Ayala carpool anyone?

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9 Responses

  1. Margaret Arcangel says:

    Please take disciplinary action on the driver of PUV with Plate No. VS 1804. Took the service this morning November 28, 2014 from Eastwood, Montalban to Trinoma. I am pretty sure he is into drugs as he drives recklessly. We almost bumped into a jeepney along Payatas. He is around 5 feet tall, skinny, long curly hair, tied up, wearing a bull cap and in an Orange Polo Shirt.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi pen_name, I tried BGC alternative route from Montalban to Cubao last Thursday and Friday. Traffic is just same as EDSA and closely similar time I spent compared to my usual route. The advantage however of passing BGC is no buses and lesser UV express in C5. Mahirap mg-drive sa EDSA dami kasing tarantad… driver.

    I’d been also regular passenger of MRT sardines few years ago. I almost gave up my work for obvious reason, but thank God I was transferred to Cubao. This is big help for me but not for my wife who is working in Makati. Hehe.

    Last year we acquired new car (7 to 8 seater) just to avail car loan offered by our company (certain percentage of monthly amortization is shouldered by our employer). Now I’m driving my wife to office, from Montalban to Makati. Our gas expense is bit costly than commuting, but much more comfortable than riding MRT.

    To compensate my fuel and maintenance expenses, I need carpool buddies who are working in Makati (pwede rin BGC or along C5). For those who are interested to ride with us, we offer 4 seats only. The car is spacious enough to accommodate 4 passengers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    My regular route is white plains, ortigas ave, edsa, buendia. I will check first the traffic condition in BGC.

    BTW, Im also looking for passengers from Cubao to Montalban via Litex for only P30 each. Departure is 7:00 to 7:30 pm.

  4. Anonymous says:

    We are looking for 3 carpool buddies from Montalban to Makati (Jupiter). Departure time 6:00am at Montalban Hiway (BPI or Pena). Just share P50 for our gasoline expense. Avanza 2012 model. Interested passengers may contact us on my CP# 09328635780

  5. pen_name says:

    Cool! I'll think about this. What's your route? I work in BGC area, will you be passing by C-5 then BGC?

    Thanks Anonymous!

  6. pen_name says:

    Hi Florante. Hindi ko pa nasubukan na pauwi ng Montalban eh sa Trinoma sasakay pero ang alam ko mayroong byahe Trinoma- Montalban.Hindi lang ata inaabot ng sobrang gabi di tulad ng sa Cubao.

    At tama ka, ang alam ko rin sa Litex ang daan nito na madadaanan rin ang Payatas.

  7. Florante Manzano says:

    meron po bang sakayan sa trinoma papuntang san jose montalban? yung dadaan cya sa payatas road ba yun.. salamat po..

  8. Anonymous says:

    i'm a commuter of erap via trinoma and i experience a very rude driver.. during that time the van with plate no. UVK 756 was very unpolite and sarcastic driver.. i think naka drugs ata kasi sobrang magpatakbo tapos bastos magsalita kulang na lang murahin ang pasahero pag baba ng van nya.. kasi may isang passenger medyo tagilid ang pag park nya ng van nya at napalakas ang pag sara ng sliding door and he shouted to the passengers “hindi nyo kayang bayaran ang pag papagawa ng sasakyan ko, kulang pa ang 50 pesos na binayad nyo pag sinira nyo sasakyan ko “.. tama ba sa isang driver ang umasal ng ganun.. i hope maaksyunan nyo po ito.. this was happened last Feb 2012.. ( i forgot the exact date). thank you ..hoping for quick response..

  9. pen_name says:

    Hi Anonymous. Thank you for sharing your experience. Actually LTO has a service for reporting abusive drivers, and their contact number is usually posted at the rear of public vehicles. You might want to start from there.

    Also, try reporting that driver / vehicle to their association (barkers, other drivers etc).

    Hopefully other Montalban commuters will get to read this comment of yours, and somehow avoid that reckless and disrespectful driver.

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