Photo of MRT 2 train bound for Santolan station.
MRT 2 train bound for Santolan station

Manila’s MRT Line 2, otherwise known as the “Megatren”, debuted in April 2003, under the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was called Megatren because of its wide-bodied trainsets. This is in comparison to Manila’s two narrower train lines, Line 1 and Line 3. MRT 2 started operations using magnetic cards as part of its Automated Fare Collection System (AFCS). This first generation of magnetic cards is the “Megatren Series”.

Megatren MRT 2 Logo
Megatren MRT 2 Logo

Inauguration of the Megatren

The launch of the train system was literally a big addition to the struggling rail network of Metro Manila in the 2000s. There was a press release describing its importance in helping decongest the metropolis by providing a new way of getting around.

Indicated below is a special feature from the Manila Bulletin on its 5 April 2003 edition. An extensive writeup of the inauguration as well as congratulatory messages from construction partners were included.

Megatren Series featured in newspaper article
Megatren Special Feature by the Manila Bulletin, 5 April 2003

Megatren Series Train Ticket Variants

The Megatren series came in three kinds: Two stored value tickets (SVT) and one single journey ticket (SJT). All of them featured the face of President Arroyo on the upper right hand corner. Across the bottom, on the other hand, lay the listing of stations of Line 2.

Stored Value Tickets

The SVTs came in two colors, yellow and green. The yellow variant is the regular SVT priced at PHP 100. The green one, on the other hand, was sold to persons with disabilities (PWD) and senior citizens, with a 20% discount.


Single Journey Tickets

The SJT was a purple-colored one, consistent with the overall theme of the Megatren’s motif. The value depended on the chosen destination keyed in from ticket vending machines (TVM) in each station of Line 2.


Reverse Card Designs

The back of each of the above magnetic tickets carried a map of Line 2. The entire system did not operate end-to-end from Santolan to Recto Station until a year later in 2004, but nonetheless were displayed as such when the line was inaugurated.

Aside from the route map, it also indicated the interchanges between Line 3 (in Araneta Center Cubao Station) and Line 1 (at Doroteo Jose Station). We can also clearly see that it was alternatively called “LRTA Line 2″, as the Megatren is operated and maintained by the Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA).

The reverse side colors still corresponded to the color of the card on the obverse (front) side.

You may visit my Megatren Flickr album for more of these Generation 1 tickets of the Megatren.