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The subway system in Manila consists of two light rail lines and one traditional subway line. Suburban trains are considered to be a part of this system as well. Each means of transport is operated by a different company. Each line has its own name and color code: LRT1 (green), LRT2 (blue), MRT3 (yellow) and PNR (orange). The overall length of the system makes 106.44 km (app. 62 miles). There are 60 stations in total. Please note that each subway operator has different working hours. The LRT lines operate from 5 AM till 10 PM (6 AM – 8 PM at the weekend). The MRT ones work from 5.30 AM until 11 PM (till 10 PM at the weekend). Finally, the PNR lines operate from 5 AM until 8 PM.
The subway uses a distance-based fare system that ranges from 13 to 60 PHP. The operators and lines have their own tickets, meaning that you have to buy a new ticket if you change the lines or trains. It is wise to use the cumulative Beep smart-card that allows you to save time and money. This card is valid for all lines. You have to spend 31 PHP to have the card issued. The card itself costs 20 PHP. The rest is debited to your account.
The tickets and cards can be purchased and recharged at TVMs and ticket desks at the stations. Note that the TVMs usually accept coins. Bank notes and credit cards are a no-go. Passing through the faregate, swipe the ticket over the reader. Keep it throughout the ride because your ticket has to be validated at the exit. If you missed your station and the fare increased, you will not be able to get past the faregate. Please pay the difference to the subway staff.