Exploring the 10 Best Options for Transportation in Manila – A Comprehensive Guide

Exploring the 10 Best Options for Transportation in Manila: A Comprehensive Guide

Get on board! Discover a Novel Mode of Transportation in Manila’s Most Surprising Rides

1. Jeepneys: The Kings of the Road

Bahnfrend, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

With their flamboyant decorations and unmistakable presence, Jeepneys are the quintessential Manila transport. Originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II, these colorful kings of the road offer a communal travel experience like no other.

2. Tricycles: The Three-Wheeled Wonders

Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

These motorized rickshaws crisscross through the city’s side streets and alleys, offering more personalized rides. Tricycles are perfect for short distances and areas inaccessible by larger vehicles.

3. Pedicabs: Pedal-Powered Pleasure

User: (WT-shared) Texugo at wts wikivoyage, CC BY-SA 1.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pedicabs provide an eco-friendly ride through Manila’s bustling streets. These bicycles with sidecars are not only a sustainable choice but also allow for an up-close look at the city’s vibrant street life.

4. Habal-Habal: Motorcycle Ride Sharing

Originally used in rural areas, these motorcycle taxis have made their way to the metro, perfect for beating the traffic and squeezing through tight spots. Habal-habal is a choice for thrill-seekers and those in a hurry.

5. Pasig River Ferries: The Urban River Cruises

Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Manila’s Pasig River ferries offer a scenic and serene way to traverse the city away from the congested streets. It’s like an urban river cruise that gives you a fresh perspective on the metro landscape.

6. E-Trikes: The Electric Evolution

Judgefloro, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

A greener alternative in the world of tricycles, e-trikes run on electricity and are slowly making their entry into Manila’s transport scene, promising a quieter and cleaner way to travel.

7. LRT & MRT: Sky-High Commutes

User:Philippinerailways, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Light Rail Transit (LRT) and the Metro Rail Transit (MRT) provide efficient, above-ground travel across long distances in the metro. It’s fast, relatively inexpensive, and offers an escape from street-level congestion.

8. Kalesa: The Clip-Clopping Carriages

Edgar Dann Alcantara, Sheena Thea Alcantara, Sheera Thea Alcantara (Wikipedia Takes Manila participant), CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

For a touch of history, hop onto a Kalesa—a horse-drawn carriage that once dominated Manila’s streets. These days, they’re more of a novelty ride for tourists wanting a taste of the past.

9. Kuliglig: The Buzzing Tuk-Tuks

Kuligligs may look like tricycles, but don’t be fooled—they’re makeshift vehicles using a hand tractor engine and can be heard from a mile away due to their buzzing sound. These are often seen in less-busy areas, offering a rugged form of transport.

10. Bamboo Bikes: Pedal with a Purpose

Dennisfleischmann, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Bambikes, or bamboo bicycles, aren’t just unique transport methods; they’re a sustainable travel option that promotes eco-tourism. Though more prominent on tours, they’re a novel way to explore the city’s historic areas.

End of the Road: Cherishing Manila’s Transport Tapestry

Transportation in Manila FAQs

Here are the most common questions about transportation in Manila.

1. Is it difficult to navigate transportation in Manila?

It can be challenging for newcomers due to traffic congestion, complex routes, and a lack of centralized information. However, locals are usually willing to help with directions.

2. How do I pay for public transport in Manila?

  • Cash: Most public utility vehicles, such as jeepneys and buses, accept cash.
  • Beep Card: A contactless smart card used for fare payment on LRT and MRT and some point-to-point (P2P) buses.
  • GrabPay and other e-wallets: for ride-hailing services and some modernized jeepneys and buses.

3. What are the peak hours to avoid traffic in Manila?

Peak hours are typically from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on weekdays. Traffic might be a bit lighter in the middle of the day and on weekends.

4. Is it safe to travel around Manila at night?

Common-sense safety precautions should be observed. While many areas are well-lit and busy, there are also places that are less secure. Ride-hailing services are often considered a safer option at night.

5. Are there tourist-friendly transportation services?

Aside from taxis and ride-hailing apps, there are hop-on-hop-off buses (when operational), shuttle services provided by hotels, and tours that include transportation to major tourist attractions.