Getting Around in Manila, Philippines

Bus

  • Manila bus

    Local buses are only really useful to get to places on the main roads such as Taft Ave, España Blvd or Epifanio de los Santos Ave (EDSA), as they are prohibited from most streets in the centre of town.

    Like the jeepneys, buses do not have route numbers identifying their routes and often do not observe loading and unloading areas except for some highly regulated zones where they are bound to get a ticket for not doing so, most notably in Makati's central business district, for example 'Ayala' (for Ayala Center) and 'Monumento' (for Caloocan). Probably the most useful local bus is the air-con PVP Express bus from Quezon Blvd by Quiapo Church to Ayala Center in Makati.

    Bus Fare

    Depending on the journey, ordinary buses cost from P10 to P15; air-con buses cost from P10 to P25. The fare structure of buses is almost the same as that of jeepneys where a fare matrix is provided and fares increase at a constant rate per kilometre after the first few kilometres.

Taxi

  • Sturdy Taxi

    +63(2)3301654

    • Typically, cabs are easy to come by here in the city. Just stand by a curb and bam! Taxi! Except of course when it rains and there’s some promise of flooding so everyone decides to get a cab. This tilts the law of supply and demand not to the passengers’ favor and causing (some) drivers to get extremely picky.
    • While it’s prudent to be aware of possible modus operandi that some unscrupulous drivers may pull, taxis are a convenient way to traverse the metropolis.
    • For the times when you need a taxi for a late night ride to the airport, or for a trip more complex than cruising from point A to point B, or, you know, you just want one ready the same time you go out your door. For those times, these are the numbers to call.
  • Reno Taxi

    +63 (2) 931-3272

  • 24/7 taxi

    642-3525

Train

  • Strong Republic Transit System (SRTS)

Car Rental

  • JB Rent a Car

    +63 2 526 6288

    The drivers are not only courteous, they can act as your tourist guide around the beautiful sites of the Philippines.

Driving

Distance unit
Metric (km/h)
Traffic system
Left-hand drive

Safety

  • Do keep your eyes open for hidden or confusing road signs. Sometimes, useful information such as “No Left Turn” or “No Right On Red” will be hidden beneath leafy “road beautification” projects, preventing you from actually reading such signs. Also hidden nearby will be traffic enforcers poised to pick your pocket.
  • Do commit to your road choices. If you’re going to cut off that cab, or go up that one-way street, don’t even hesitate. Just follow your bliss. Total belief in your actions will get you far. No half measures.
  • Don’t buy into the “If you can drive in Manila, you can drive anywhere” malarkey. That’s just Pinoy pride and machismo talking. If you tried using your Manila “driving skills” anywhere else in the world, you’d be thrown in Driver’s Jail forever. Without middle finger privileges.
  • Do obey traffic rules. The Jedi Mind Trick only works a few times for foreigners; after that, you’re on your own.

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