The Arroyo Administration started integrating various railways into one system in 2003, called the “Strong Republic Transit System” (SRTS). This is why the third generation of MRT 3 magnetic cards bore this system’s logo and title. Here we have the Strong Republic Series magnetic tickets.
Just like in the Erap and Gloria Series, this set also displays the thirteen MRT 3 stations on the right side. Former President Arroyo’s face is once again shown on the upper-left corner. She is wearing a hard hat in this case (for most of the tickets).
At the lower-left corner is shown the logo of the Strong Republic Transit System:
The Strong Republic Series is the last in the MRT 3 magnetic tickets that featured the face of former President Arroyo. As we shall see in succeeding articles, there will be different takes in terms of the next ticket designs without involving the likeness of any particular politician.
Strong Republic Transit
The introduction of the SRTS formalized color designations for the existing train lines. The rail lines were renamed under the following color codes with the establishment of the SRTS:
- LRT 1 / Metrorail: Yellow Line
- MRT 2 / Megatren: Purple Line
- MRT 3/ Metrostar: Blue Line
- PNR Southrail: Orange Line
- Northrail: Green Line
It was quite convenient to designate the lines as such, since even prior to SRTS, these lines already had these dominant colors. The LRT 1 has had yellow streaks on its livery since the 1990s. Megatren on the other hand has a tribal-inspired purple band on its side, plus the iconic purple roofing on the stations. The MRT 3 has blue for majority of its light rail vehicles. Lastly, the PNR’s Commuter Express (Commex) has that orange streak across its train body.
A total of five magnetic cards were issued with this series. Three tickets were Single Journey Tickets (SJT), with one labeled as “discounted” (i.e., for PWDs and senior citizens). Two of them were Stored Value Tickets (SVT), both priced at 100 pesos.
Single Journey Tickets
The three single-journey SRTS tickets are shown below. Orange, white, and blue are the dominant background colors for these magnetic tickets.
The third one is an exception in the design consistency as the third one showed former President Arroyo without the hard hat. The system map is also displayed across the bottom edge instead of the right edge. Also, observe the presidential seal. The seal used in this third SJT is the newer one, with a smaller sans-serif font. Presidential seals prior to the Arroyo Administration had bigger font sizes.
Stored Value Tickets
There are two “prepaid” SRTS tickets. One has a pink background, consistent with the design of the other single journey tickets. The other has a dominantly blue background with “BLUE LINE” being displayed without the “MRT-3” branding. This seemed to be an attempt to get people to use the color coding of the trains more frequently.
Also, the system map for the blue SVT was not on a line, unlike the rest. It imitated the path of the train line as it traversed EDSA.
The institutionalization of the Strong Republic Transit System resulted in the renaming of the MRT 3 into the “Blue Line”. It was reflected in the design of the Strong Republic Series, with “Blue Line” being prominently included as name of this train line.