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An Online Ticket Reservation System for Manila's MRT & LRT train stations

When I quit my 8 year old job and decided to go freelance, it was literally a career suicide I have to cope up with. I knew I have to live a lifestyle way lower than what I used to be. 

It means I have to cut corners in every aspect of my spending habits. No more buying of a cute dress and dropping by to my favorite coffee shop every payday of every month.  Except only if I need to. 

Most of all I learned to ride to our public train station religiously because it is the fastest and the cheapest to go around the metro. 

I think the most beautiful thing that a freelance life has given me is to be more appreciative of small things that I used to not pay attention of. When you have so many options, you dont care whether you lose a thing because you know you have an alternative. Now why small things? Because maybe I am a novice freelance who are still in the learning process. I have learned to always look at the small things... those that matter like making the most of our time.

When I used to have a regular job and arrived late because I was stuck in traffic or in the long line of people waiting to buy train tickets, I pretty don't care because my salary will only be deducted to the total of how many minutes or hours I missed from my work.
 Until I became a freelance. That minutes and hours I missed mean a lot to a freelancer like me. If I don't close as many sale as possible from my own efforts, I cannot make money at least enough to help me pay my bills and rents.  

Unlike if one has a regular job, he/she is sure to get a minimum equivalent of his/her daily equivalent salary so long as 8 working hours is achieved.  But how about the rest of the people commuting in Metro Manila daily? What else could they have missed just because they were stuck in the same situation?  Probably a potential business partner waiting forever in a corner of a restaurant, a loved one who cannot fall asleep worrying whether you are safe on the way home or a gathering of friends you have not seen for years. 

I thought it is normal for public train stations to be overcrowded and disorderly because that is the setup I have seen for many years while staying in Manila. But my trip to Singapore and Malaysia last year made me think otherwise. Comparing the two mentioned countries plus ours, I think Singapore is a good example in this matter. It is awesome to see persons who are in suites and neck ties, a sign that they occupy top paying positions therefore can afford more but they chose to commute instead. I even saw one who was checking briefly his emails via his laptop looking very secure just like he is at his own workstation.  I can now agree from a meme shared on Facebook sometime ago that goes like this "An indication of a rich country is when rich people uses the public transportation often instead of riding in their own cars". I also love people following proper train etiquette while going up and down the escalator. Those who are rushing to reach the end, takes the right side and walks faster. Those who are not, takes the left side forming the rest a line so they can enjoy the slow pace of the moving stairs. My thought right at that moment, if Singapore can do this why can't we?

Me in a train station at Singapore showing my Unli 3 day pass

Is it because their population is smaller so it is easier to manage? Is it because they have more money to build safer things like train stations with outside door covers to prevent fatal accidents?  Until one sign gave a hint of all of my questions. It was posted in one of the walls near where the people buys their tickets. It goes like this "Do not keep on complaining what the government has failed to do for you instead do something from your initiative to make it happen".  I am not concluding that Singapore has the best government and public transportation system in the whole world but we can get a piece of wisdom here. There is a lot of people taking MRT's and LRT's every day. I know I am not the only one who suffers inconvenience and time wasted because of the influx of crowd rushing to get to their own destinations. I am not saying that our government should build a public train station similar to that of Singapore.  What I want to emphasize is it is time to take small steps to add a bit of comfort to everyone of us. 

The best way is to allow people to buy MRT & LRT tickets online. We can lessen the long queue of people waiting that is a sore in everyone's eyes.  Seeing this gives us a domino effect of adding our stress level and lessen our patience that is why sometimes we get to confront a fellow passenger trying to squeeze in between the  line.  

I think we had enough of gaming apps and chatting tools installed in our smartphones so far. It is just right to start focusing on solving real - world problems like congestion inside our very own train stations. Let's give dating apps a break first fellow entrepreneurs, let's find ways for us to get connected with the rest of us OFFLINE by finding time to be with each other whether for work or personal.

I believe that the growing rise of startup enthusiasts can really make this happen. Manila is one of the top consumers of social media. We have so much to be thankful because the Internet penetration here is rampant. I don't want to bombard you with statistics because it is like proving if the grass is green. will prove I am calling the attention of local business incubators  like Ideaspace or Kickstart Ventures who can finance, mentor and support ideas like this or who knows anyone who has a far better idea than this? We don't need an Elon Musk to solve this. I think this is very possible.  To the government please listen. And especially to anyone/ those who agree with me that we can make it happen. We just need to know how. 

1 comment

  1. I actually love the transpo system of Malaysia.

    I think, as you said, progressive countries have oftentimes better public transpo system.