While we love our cars as a means for mobility, every major metropolis -especially one with the population like Metro Manila (and Mega Manila)- deserves a proper rail mass transit system akin to other major cities.

Now, it's about to happen. 

Today the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has just held the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Metro Manila Subway. It will be the first underground railway system in the country. The undertaking by the DOTr is billed as the “project of the century” under the administration's Build Build Build program.

The Subway is expected to serve up to 370,000 passengers daily in its first year, but has a maximum design capacity of 1.5 million passengers when all stations are operational.

The Metro Manila Subway will span 36 kilometers, have 15 stations from Quezon City to Pasay City, cross 7 local governments, and serve 3 business districts of the metropolis. The Subway will also serve NAIA Terminal 3 which, with trains running at 80 km/h, can reduce the travel time to the airport area to just 30 minutes from Quezon City.

The DOTr is targeting to open the first three stations by 2022: Quirino Highway-Mindanao Avenue, Tandang Sora, and North Avenue. The remaining stations will open in 2025 namely: Quezon Avenue, East Avenue, Anonas, Katipunan, Ortigas North, Ortigas South, Kalayaan Avenue, BGC, Cayetano Boulevard, FTI, and Terminal 3. 

The primary concern with a subway in Metro Manila is flooding, which is why DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade proceeded to Japan to visit and inspect the contractors and machines, respectively, that will be important in the subway's construction like tunnel boring machines (TBM) and flood control measures.

The subway will be built by a Joint Venture between Japanese companies such as Shimizu Corporation, Fujita Corporation, and Takenaka Civil Engineering Co., with EEI Corporation as the Philippine partner. The project is part of the commitment of the Japan International Cooperation Agency or JICA.