Metro Manila Subway Line 9

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Line 9 (Metro Manila Subway) train.png
Concept art for the line
Other name(s)Metro Manila Subway
Mega Manila Subway
TypeRapid transit
StatusUnder construction
LocaleMetro Manila (phase 1)
Bulacan and Cavite (phases 2 and 3)
TerminiQuirino Highway (north)
NAIA Terminal 3 or FTI (south)
Stations15 (phase 1)[2]
Daily ridership370,000 (projected)[1]
Opened2022 (partial), 2025 (full)[3]
Operator(s)Department of Transportation
Depot(s)Brgy. Ugong, Valenzuela
Line length36 km (22 mi) (phase 1)[2]
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Operating speed80 km/h (50 mph)
Route map

Valenzuela depot
Quirino Highway
Tandang Sora
North Avenue
 3 ( 1  7 )
Quezon Avenue
 3 ( 8 )
East Avenue
Ortigas North
Ortigas South
Bus interchange
( 5 )
Bonifacio Global City Bus interchange
Lawton East
Lawton West
NAIA Terminal 3 Manila International Airport Bus interchange

Metro Manila Subway Line 9, formerly known as the Mega Manila Subway, is an underground rapid transit line currently under construction in Metro Manila, Philippines. The 36-kilometer (22 mi) line, which will run north–south between the cities of Quezon City, Pasig, Makati, Taguig and Pasay, will serve fifteen stations between the Quirino Highway and FTI stations. It will also serve as the country's second direct airport rail link, with a branch line to Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The line is designed to connect with the other urban rail transit services in the region, including Line 1, Line 3, and Line 7 at the North Avenue Common station, which is also currently under construction; the existing Line 2 and Metro Commuter Line; and the planned Line 5 (Makati Subway) and Line 8 (PNR East-West Railway).

Construction began on February 27, 2019,[4][5] and is expected to finish by 2025.[3] It is to be numbered Line 9 on future Manila Metro maps.[6] The project is expected to cost PHP227 billion (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.[7][8] The government of Japan has expressed willingness to help in covering the expenses of the line, and the first part of a 104.5-billion-yen loan was signed by Japan.[9]



A fully underground rapid rail system in Metro Manila, initially named Mega Manila Subway, was proposed in the 2014 Metro Manila Dream Plan as a 57.7-kilometer line 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)[10] 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.[11][12]

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). It was also proposed to be part of the 1977 MMetroplan, which even received approval from the World Bank. However, the plan was not included and implemented, for some of the areas included in the plan, such as Marikina and Cainta, are prone to flooding.[13][14][15] Instead, what was built was the Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 1, opened on 1 December 1984 and completed on 12 May 1985.[16] Nevertheless, the current Manila Light Rail Transit System (mostly elevated) is shorter than the line system forwarded in 1973.[15]

The 1973 plan provided for the construction of five lines. The first line (Line 1) would have extended 27.1 kilometers from Constitution Hills (now Batasan Hills), Quezon City to Talon, Las Piñas; the second line (Line 2) for 36 kilometers from Novaliches, Quezon City to Cainta, Rizal, Line 3 for 24.3 kilometers throughout Epifanio de los Santos Avenue. The fourth line (Line 4) would have extended 30.1 kilometers from Marikina to Zapote, Bacoor, and the fifth line 17.6 kilometers from Rizal Avenue, Manila to Meycauayan, Bulacan. If this plan had been carried out, it would have been completed by 1988.[15]


A loan agreement was signed between President Duterte and Prime Minister Shinzō Abe in November 2017.[17] On 16 March 2018, Japan signed the first part of a 104.5-billion-yen (approx. US$957 million) loan for the subway.[9] 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 PHP 11 billion contract to build the line.[18][19]

It is planned to begin partial operations by 2022,[9] with three stations, Qurino Highway, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue, open.[20] In June 2018, soil testing was conducted along the alignment. Massive TBMs will be employed for the project. In line with this, DOTR, PNR and JICA personnel inspected actual tunnel boring machines in Japan, estimated to arrive in May 2019.[21][22]

On February 25, 2019, a Japanese-Filipino consortium, consisting of Shimizu Corp., Fujita Corp., Takenaka Civil Engineering Co. Ltd. and EEI won the design-and-build contract for the first three stations, or its partial operability section.[2]


The line will be the third high-capacity, heavy rail line in the country, after the Line 2, and Line 7, and the first to be mostly underground. It is designed to run trains at 80 kilometers per hour. The tunnel diameter inside and outside is projected to be 5.2 meters and 5.65 meters, respectively.[23] 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,[24] it is designed to withstand a magnitude-8.0 earthquake. In addition, it 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.[23] Prior to final approval, some adjustments to the alignment were done so that it would reduce the risk of damage during earthquakes by traveling along solid adobe ground.

The stations would have design features such as water-stop panels, a high-level entrance for flood prevention, earthquake detection, and a train stop system, akin to the Tokyo subway.[25]

The major stations of the line are planned to have 2 platform levels, one for a local train service and another for express routes. These stations are planned to have 6 floors designed for 2 platform floors, commercial shops, ticketing facilities and other amenities.[26]

Six of the proposed stations, namely NAIA Terminal 3, Lawton East, Lawton West, Katipunan, Quezon Avenue and North Avenue stations will be built on government property in order to boost property values on the surrounding area.[27]

Rolling stock[edit]

While the line 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 80 kilometers per hour (Line 1 trains run at the average speed of 40 kilometers per hour).[28] Trains will consist of six cars, with a capacity of 412 passengers per car, each car projected to cost US$2.5 million (124.5 million pesos as of 2017).[23]

In February 2019, DOTr Undersecretary for Railways Timothy John Batan announced the Department's plan to initially procure 19 trainsets with an 8-car configuration, but added that more traincars maybe optionally procured to fit the 10-car capacity of the stations.[29]

Proposed network[edit]

The project involves the construction of 15 stations in its first phase (listed from north to south):[23][30]

Station District/Barangay Location
Quirino Highway Novaliches Quezon City
Tandang Sora Tandang Sora
North Avenue * Diliman
Quezon Avenue *
East Avenue
Anonas* Project 3
Katipunan Camp Aguinaldo
Ortigas North San Antonio Pasig
Ortigas South
Kalayaan West Rembo Makati
BGC Fort Bonifacio Taguig
Lawton East
Lawton West*
FTI* Western Bicutan
NAIA Terminal 3 Tambo Pasay

* Denotes interchange

The first phase was initially planned to be 21.6 kilometers long.[23] However, it is estimated to be actually 25 kilometers long.[17] 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 down to Dasmariñas, Cavite, south of Metro Manila (20.7 kilometers from the proposed Ninoy Aquino International Airport station). The entire system, when completed, will serve up to 1.74 million passengers daily.[23]

JICA also proposes a physical connection and interoperability between the North-South Commuter Railway Project and Line 9. It proposes Line 9 rolling stock to switch over to the at-grade NSCR-South tracks around the FTI area, via a physical connection of the tracks and electrical supply, and operate through services to NSCR-South stations from Bicutan towards Calamba and vice versa.[31].

The spur line towards NAIA Terminal 3 is also being considered to be expanded to cover all the other terminals of the airport, eventually meeting with the LRT-1 at the planned Asia World station of the LRT-1 extension to serve the PITX.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mega Manila Subway". Philippine Infrastructure Transparency Portal. Archived from the original on 20 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "Japan-Filipino consortium bags Metro Manila subway project". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  3. ^ a b News, Inquirer. "Metro Manila to kick off construction of P350-B subway in January". Inquirer.Net. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  4. ^ "DOTr resets Manila subway groundbreaking to Feb. 26". GMA News Online. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  5. ^ "DOTr eyes Feb. 27 Metro Manila subway launch". Manila Bulletin News. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  6. ^
  7. ^ Rappler (22 August 2016). "Duterte admin revives plan to build Metro Manila subway". Public-Private Partnership Center. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  8. ^ "Japan set to fund Metro Manila subway, 2 other rail projects". Public-Private Partnership Center. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  9. ^ a b c News, ABS-CBN. "Metro Manila Subway: PH, Japan sign loan deal". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ (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.
  12. ^ Main Points of the Roadmap (PDF) (Report). Japan International Cooperation Agency. September 2014.
  13. ^ Garcia, Cathy Rose. "Why gov't rejected subway for Metro Manila in the 1970s". Public-Private Partnership Center. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  14. ^ Palafox, Felino, Jr. "1977 plan still remains to be carried out". The Manila Times. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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
  17. ^ a b "Duterte, Abe may sign Mega Manila subway deal in November". Rappler. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  18. ^ Nicolas, Bernadette D. "Government awards P11-billion subway contract to Japanese group". BusinessMirror. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  19. ^ "Japanese consortium bags subway contract". The Manila Times Online. 22 November 2018. Retrieved 8 December 2018.
  20. ^ Vera, Ben O. de. "1st 3 Metro Manila subway stations seen operational by 2022". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  21. ^ "Department of Transportation – Philippines". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  22. ^ "DOTr signs deal for Metro Manila Subway's first 3 stations". Rappler. Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ "36-km P355.6-B Metro subway launched". Manila Bulletin Business. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Konstruksiyon ng Metro Manila Subway sisimulan na". ABS-CBN News (in Tagalog). Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  27. ^ "6 subway stations to rise on gov't properties". Philippine News Agency. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  28. ^ "Metro Manila Subway". Retrieved 25 February 2019.
  29. ^ "Construction begins on Metro Manila Subway". Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  30. ^ "'Ambitious' Metro Manila subway to be built by 2024 – DOTr". CNN Philippines. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  31. ^ Feasibility Study on the North South Railway Project-South Line (Commuter) in the Republic of the Philippines: DRAFT FINAL REPORT (PDF) (Report). Japan International Cooperation Agency. October 2018.

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