Sunday, November 15, 2009

Morning Prayer of a Metrorail Transit Rider from Cubao, Quezon City

I have much more respect now for Metrorail Transit riders from Quezon City to Makati City. After several rides myself at 8 or 9 in the morning, I have experienced for myself the ordeal each one goes through. Take this trip that I made for example . . .
  • 7:30am - left home to Cubao station on a jeepney
  • 7:50am - arrived at the Cubao Metrorail Transit station, saw that the south-bound platform was jampacked, saw that after two or three trains there was no obvious dent on the number of people on the platform
  • 8:00am - decided to come down the platform and run to the other side to take the train going to the opposite direction; that is, to North EDSA Metrorail Transit station
  • 8:25am - back at Cubao station on board a south-bound train from the North EDSA station (it took 25 minutes to take a train to North EDSA, alight, run to the other side, flow with the crowd inching towards the platform, and, hop in and get a ride to the south up to Cubao station).  This is 35 minutes after I arrived in Cubao station earlier. I have experienced waiting in line for 40 minutes. So I saved 5 minutes.
  • 8:45am - arrived at Buendia Metrorail Transit station, standing all the way and almost not needing to hold on to the rails because the crowd that pressed on me supported my balance already
  • 8:47am - arrived at jeepney station after a 2-minute walk form the Buendia Metrorail Transit station (that was fast, eh?)
  • 8:53am - finally got on board a jeepney after lining up for six minutes
  • 9:07am - alighted from the jeepney and went in the building
  • 9:11am - arrived at the office after an elevator ride
So, how much time did it take to get to the office? A cool 101 minutes, inclusive of detours and long waits. I think it still would have taken longer by car.

That is why I believe this is the prayer in the heart of each Metrorail Transit rider every morning:
  • strength of mind and body, lots and lots of it
  • patience, lots of patience now, now, now!
  • thrice as many trains in the morning, at 5-min interval
  • air-conditioned platform
  • an empty arriving train
  • a full train that doesn't mind stopping at this station
  • express trains that stop only at Cubao, Shaw, Buendia & Ayala
  • passengers who give way to alighting passengers
  • passengers who care for the life and limb of others in the platform
  • most importantly, the will to be at the station half an hour earlier each day
Still there are lots of things to be thankful about:
  • passengers who line up properly at the ticket counter and gates
  • smooth ride, far in contrast with stop and go anytime buses and jeepneys
  • swift ride past the procession of buses and cars below
  • cool ride inside air-conditioned couches
  • courteous train operators
  • ladies and elderly who use the coach reserved for them
Hmmm, overall, there is still much to be thankful about Metrorail Transit around us.

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