Face-Off!: LRT vs. MRT

In the spirit of the upcoming Pacquiao vs. Margarito fight, I’m starting a new column: Face-Off!  And my first Face-Off! is between the LRT and the MRT.  As a long time LRT/MRT commuter, here are some of my observations between the two according to some of my own criteria:

Commuters:
LRT – More behaved as compared to MRT crowd but can get pushy during peak hours but still not as rude as the MRT crowd
MRT – Gets rowdy all the time especially from Guadalupe Station onwards (from Taft Ave.)

Comfort:
LRT – New trains are more comfortable than the old trains.  Old trains tend to be hot and drippy during rainy days.
MRT – Trains are newer than the LRT and more spacious although the A/C is  a little weak in some cars.  Also drippy during rainy days.

Best Stations to Ride:
LRT – Either Balintawak or Roosevelt Ave.  These are still new stations and the crowd volume is low.  I love it when the train enters these two stations.  You could actually lie down on the seats since most of the passengers get off at Monumento.
MRT – None!

Worst Stations to Ride:
LRT – Monumento Station.  Lots of people with some of them not easy on the nose!  At least you are guaranteed a seat.  EDSA Station is pretty tamed compared to Monumento even though the crowd volume is high since when a train arrives from Baclaran Station it is usually empty.  I’m not sure if the passengers are no longer patronizing the Baclaran Station or if they are skipping trains since I haven’t been to Baclaran lately.
MRT – North Ave. Station is the worst!  Although once you get in, you have a chance to grab a seat (after beating your fellow passengers! j/k)

Most Hated Feature (for lack of a better term):
MRT – SKIPPING TRAINS!!!  I usually ride in North Ave. Station and I could feel a collective curse coming out of the passengers when a skipping train skipped the station.
LRT – The LRT also has the skipping train feature but not as bad as the MRT.

Well, that’s all for my initial list.  Please feel free to suggest more criteria if you want 🙂

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I took the LRT from Balintawak to Monumento Station and it was good!!!

Finally, I’ve tried to ride from Balintawak Station to Monumento Station and back.  Even though Balintawak Station is still not totally finished — they are still working on the elevators/escalators, walls, paints, etc. — it’s good that they’re already allowing passengers to ride past Monumento and into Balintawak and vice versa.  It provided a ton of convenience for us commuters.  I can’t officially wait for Roosevelt Station (AKA WalterMart Station) to be completed!

LRT Annoyances #4 – Too Much Noise!!!

Have you sometimes experienced so much noise inside the LRT that you just want the train to stop so you can get out and find some peace and quiet.  This usually happens in the morning and in the early evening.  Everyone is chatting like there’s no tomorrow, people yakking loudly on their cell, kids listening loudly to MP3 players, etc., etc…  Poor me, I can no longer concentrate on my book.

The LRT management must have noticed this noisy trend since they have put up a sign (please see below) against these noise pollution inside the train.  The sign is good, if people would only just follow it.

LRT Annoyances #3 – Defective Aircons

Aaarrrgggh!!!You’re running for dear life.  You have to catch the LRT.  You can’t be a minute late or else…

Then you made it!  You saw a near empty coach and with Palos-like agility you quickly slipped  in between the LRT doors as they are closing fast with the warning beeps playing noisily in the background.

But once inside you encounter a sad reality. You suddenly realize the reason for the emptiness of the coach.  The air conditioning unit of that coach is defective!!!  But still, you made it… Just don’t expect to arrive dry in your destination.

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LRT Annoyances #2 – Crowded Exits

I really hate those trains where everyone is crowded near the doors while the middle part is empty. It seems like everyone who gets on the train prefers to stay nearer the exit. It’s the jeepney equivalent of passengers sitting farther away from the driver. Or it could be that people are jammed near the exit since they can’t get into the middle part since there are already so many people near the exit. Or do they do it by choice? Maybe somebody should set up a survey for that.

LRT Annoyances #1 – No Peeing Allowed!

If you need to pee, you gotta do it before you ride the LRT. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a full bladder for the entire trip. And if ever the need hits you while you’re in a station, then you’re out of luck. Since if you go to the LRT’s one and only rest room, you’ll be greeted with the “OUT OF ORDER” sign. Don’t the LRT folks use the rest room? Why is it always “OUT OF ORDER?” Or do they just put this sign to prevent you and I from using it?