Metro Manila Subway

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Metro Manila Subway
Mega Manila Subway train.png
Concept art for the Metro Manila Subway
TypeRapid transit
LocaleMetro Manila (Phase 1)
Bulacan, Cavite (Phase 2 and 3)
TerminiMindanao Avenue
Manila International Airport
Stations14 (Phase 1)
Daily ridership370,000[1]Phase 1, projected
Opened2025 (Estimated)[2]
Operator(s)Department of Transportation
Depot(s)Near Valenzuela Railway Station
Line length25 km (16 mi) (Phase 1)
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map

Mindanao Avenue
Tandang Sora
North Avenue
 LRT1  MRT3  MRT7 
Quezon Avenue
East Avenue
Katipunan Avenue
Ortigas North
Ortigas South
Kalayaan Avenue
Bonifacio Global City
Cayetano Boulevard
International Airport
Manila International Airport

The Metro Manila Subway, originally named Mega Manila Subway, is an approved underground rapid transit line to be built initially in Metro Manila in the Philippines. Construction is projected to begin by 2019, and to finish by 2025.[2] In its former iteration, it is known as Line 5.

The project is expected to cost 227 billion pesos (US$4.5 billion as of 2017), to be included in the national budget in the following years. It is expected be the most expensive transport project to be undertaken by the Duterte administration.[3][4] The government of Japan has expressed willingness to help in covering the expenses of the subway, and the first part of a 104.5 billion yen loan was signed by Japan.[5]

Groundbreaking is scheduled on the middle of January 2019.[2]



A subway in Metro Manila, initially named Metro Manila Subway, was proposed in the Metro Manila Dream Plan as a 57.7-kilometer subway that would serve as the second north–south mass transit backbone for the newly expanded Greater Capital Region (the first being the North-South Commuter Railway). The Metro Manila Dream Plan (Mega Manila Dream Plan or Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and Its Surrounding Areas) is an integrated plan, created on the basis of recommendations from a study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)[6] and was approved the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Board in June 2014, lasting until 2030. The program aims to improve the transport system in Metro Manila, Philippines, with the hope of turning it into a focal point for addressing Metro Manila's interlinked problems in the areas of transportation, land use, and environment.[7][8]

However, the idea had been forwarded as early as 1973, when the JICA (at the time known as the Overseas Technical Cooperation Agency or OTCA) and former Secretary of Public Works and Highways David Consunji conducted a study on what shall later be Metro Manila (formally constituted on 7 November 1975). The subway was also proposed to be part of the 1977 MMetroplan, which even received approval from the World Bank. However, the subway plan was not included and implemented, for some of the areas included in the plan, such as Marikina and Cainta, are prone to flooding.[9][10][11] Instead, what was built was the Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 1, opened on 1 December 1984 and completed on 12 May 1985.[12] Nevertheless, the current Manila Light Rail Transit System (mostly elevated) is shorter than the line system forwarded in 1973.[11]

The 1973 subway plan provided for the construction of five lines. The first line (Line 1) extends 27.1 kilometers from Constitution Hills (now Batasan Hills), Quezon City to Talon, Las Piñas. The second line (Line 2) extends 36 kilometers from Novaliches, Quezon City to Cainta, Rizal. The third line (Line 3) extends 24.3 kilometers throughout Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. The fourth line (Line 4) extends 30.1 kilometers from Marikina to Zapote, Bacoor. Finally, the fifth line (Line 5) extends 17.6 kilometers from Rizal Avenue, Manila to Meycauayan, Bulacan. If this plan was carried out, it would have been completed by 1988.[11]


A loan agreement was signed between President Duterte and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in November 2017.[13]

On 16 March 2018, Japan signed the first part of a 104.5 billion yen (approx. US$957 million) loan for the subway.[5]

The subway is planned to begin partial operations by 2022[5], with three stations, Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue, open.[14]

Groundbreaking will commence on the middle of January 2019,[2] and it will begin operations by 2025.

In June 2018, soil testing was conducted along the projected path of the subway. It is highly implied massive TBMs will be employed for the project.

In November 2018, OC Global, a Japanese consortium consisting of Oriental Consultants Global Co. Ltd., Tokyo Metro Co. Ltd., Katahira & Engineers International, Pacific Consultants Co Ltd., Tonichi Engineering Consultants, Inc., and Metro Development Co. Ltd., was awarded the 11 billion pesos contract to build the subway.[15][16]


The subway will be the third high-capacity, heavy rail line in the country, after the LRT-2, and MRT-7, and the first to be mostly underground. It is designed to run trains at the speed of 80 kilometers per hour. The tunnel diameter inside and outside is projected to be 5.2 meters and 5.65 meters respectively.[17] Since there are estimates of an expected magnitude 7.2 earthquake (which can be as powerful as magnitude 7.6) in the Marikina Valley Fault System,[18] the subway is designed to withstand a magnitude 8.0 earthquake. In addition, the subway may not be entirely underground. Assessment of the environmental and geographical considerations in the base alignment (initially 74.6 kilometers long) recommends 18% of the line to be at-grade and 9% to be running through viaduct.[17]

Rolling stock[edit]

While the subway system itself is not yet in operation, the requirements for the rolling stock in accordance to the projected design are already available. Average train speed is expected to be at 50 kilometers per hour (Manila Light Rail Transit System trains run at the average speed of 40 kilometers per hour). The subway train shall consist of six cars, with a capacity of 412 passengers per car. Each rail car is projected to cost US$2.5 million (124.5 million pesos as of 2017).[17]

Proposed network[edit]

The project involves the construction of 13 stations in its first phase (listed from north to south):[19][17]

Station City
Mindanao Avenue * Quezon City
Tandang Sora
North Avenue *
Quezon Avenue *
East Avenue
Ortigas North Pasig
Ortigas South
Kalayaan Makati
BGC Taguig
Ninoy Aquino International Airport* Pasay

* Denotes interchange

The first phase was initially planned to be 21.6 kilometers long.[17] However, it is estimated to be actually 25 kilometers long.[13] The following phases of the subway project would involve extending lines up to San Jose del Monte, Bulacan, north of Metro Manila (15.4 kilometers from the proposed Mindanao Avenue station), and up to Dasmariñas, Cavite, south of Metro Manila (20.7 kilometers from the proposed Ninoy Aquino International Airport station). The entire system, if completed, is projected to have up to 1.74 million passengers daily.[17]


  1. ^ "Mega Manila Subway". Philippine Infrastructure Transparency Portal. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d News, Inquirer. "Metro Manila to kick off construction of P350-B subway in January". Inquirer.Net. Retrieved 2018-12-28.
  3. ^ Rappler (22 August 2016). "Duterte admin revives plan to build Metro Manila subway". Public-Private Partnership Center. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  4. ^ "Japan set to fund Metro Manila subway, 2 other rail projects". Public-Private Partnership Center. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  5. ^ a b c News, ABS-CBN. "Metro Manila Subway: PH, Japan sign loan deal". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  6. ^ Dela Paz, C. J. V. (2 September 2014). "Plan seeks to untangle gridlock". Business World. New Manila, Quezon City, Philippines: BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
  7. ^ (The Philippines) MEGA MANILA INFRASTRUCTURE ROADMAP (Long Ver.). JICAChannel02: The Official Global Channel of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Republic of the Philippines National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). 10 June 2014.
  8. ^ Main Points of the Roadmap (PDF) (Report). Japan International Cooperation Agency. September 2014.
  9. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose. "Why gov't rejected subway for Metro Manila in the 1970s". Public-Private Partnership Center. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  10. ^ Palafox, Felino, Jr. "1977 plan still remains to be carried out". The Manila Times. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  11. ^ a b c Jose, Ricardo; Mabazza, Daniel; Lagman, Marco Stefan; Villasper, Jonathan. "Planning Metro Manila's Mass Transit System" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  12. ^ The LRT Line 1 System – The Yellow Line. [ca. 2010]. Light Rail Transit Authority. Retrieved 19 January 2010. Archived 1 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ a b "Duterte, Abe may sign Mega Manila subway deal in November". Rappler. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  14. ^ Vera, Ben O. de. "1st 3 Metro Manila subway stations seen operational by 2022". Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  15. ^ Nicolas, Bernadette D. "Government awards P11-billion subway contract to Japanese group". BusinessMirror. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  16. ^ "Japanese consortium bags subway contract". The Manila Times Online. 2018-11-22. Retrieved 2018-12-08.
  17. ^ a b c d e f "Roadmap for Transport Infrastructure Development for Metro Manila and Its Surrounding Areas (Region III and Region IV-A): SUPPLEMENTARY REPORT ON MEGA MANILA SUBWAY PROJECT" (PDF). National Economic and Development Authority. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  18. ^ Nelson, Alan R.; Personius, Stephen F.; Rimando, Rolly E.; Punongbayan, Raymundo S.; Tungol, Norman; Mirabueno, Hannah; Rasdas, Ariel (2000). "Multiple Large Earthquakes in the Past 1500 Years on a Fault in Metropolitan Manila, the Philippines". Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America. Seismological Society of America. 90 (1): 84. doi:10.1785/0119990002.
  19. ^ "'Ambitious' Metro Manila subway to be built by 2024 – DOTr". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 19 April 2017.

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