Remember the The Manila Tranvia post?
The Manila Tranvia was destroyed during the Second World War and no efforts to restore it was made since the jeepneys became the “Hari ng Lansangan”. Then, by 1970’s it was predicted that Metro Manila will soon become choked so a wholistic Mass Transport System was envisioned within the boundaries of the Metropolis.
Here is the plan as of this day:
The very first line was the LRT 1 line. It was built from 1980-1983, hereby making it the oldest Mass Transport System in SouthEast Asia, the Singapore lines were operational starting 1984. The LRT 1 approximates the old Binondo (Escolta) line of the Tranvia.
The Second one is the MRT 3, it was envisioned to decongest EDSA as early as 1990’s, but the project dragged on from the Aquino I to the Estrada Administration. The construction started 1996, the first lines to cubao were opened 1999 and the whole line was operational during 2000. Unlike the LRT, the MRT is a private venture, with the Ayalas getting a good share.
The third one is the LRT 2, this should have been the original MRT (notice the lesser volume of passengers) but the Government undetook this, the construction started 2001 and finished 2004 until Cubao and the tracks to Recto finished at 2005. The Manila routes of the LRT2 (from San Juan to Recto) approximates the Santa Mesa and Azcarraga line of the Old Tranvia.
The fourth one is the PNR Communter Express (CommEx), this is part of the PNR south line but the Metro Line only extends to Laguna, where the Bicol Express only extends to CamSur (originally in Albay but is planned to traverse until Sorsogon).
On the plans:
The MRT 7, from Quezon City to Bulacan, should have started as early as 2010, but the change in administration prompted delays of this and finally the government underspending delayed this further.
The MRT 9, from Quezon city to Port Area, Manila. This is envisioned to traverse the North Edsa to Port Area, Manila through Espana. But still no final approval. for this.
The Central Terminal, the terminal should be the common meeting points of all rail lines in North EDSA, still in the bidding phase since Trinoma and SM NE are fighting for the naming rights.
It looked like the rail lines determined the urban space. The tranvia only extended to San Juan, Makati, Taguig. The LRT MRT first only confined within the Metro Boundary but is now extending to the nearby provinces. Truly, railways determine the urban landscape, not the urban space is now spilling there. Once the NAIA - Clark Rail Link is finished, Clark is now officially recognized as urban space, yes. Clark is not yet an official urbanized city.