Getting around Manila

Public Transport:

Philippines is widely known for its distinct mode of public transportation – jeepney. It is a public utility vehicle that looks like a small bus with one rear door and can accommodate a number of passengers. And since Manila is one of the most crowded and busiest places in the country, it is pretty normal to find several jeepneys operating within the area. Some jeepneys have operators which means a person may own several units with respective drivers. Meanwhile, other jeepneys are owned privately.

Jeepneys come in different sizes. The bigger ones can hold approximately 26 passengers while the smaller ones can carry 18 people. Many jeepneys have flamboyant decorations making them more attractive to commuters. Others even have music players to entertain passengers.

Jeepneys have their respective routes which they need to take whenever hitting the road. Drivers must follow their routes and should not go beyond these destinations to avoid penalties not unless there is a signboard hanging at the front mirror saying “Private” or “For family use.” These routes likewise determine the designated fare. As of 2013, the minimum jeepney fare is at Php 8.00 and may have additional charge in the succeeding meters.


Taking a cab is very common to those who are in a hurry. Taxi drivers can take their passengers to any destination in Manila or outside the city with much convenience. Before, overcharging incidence happened most of the time specifically when passengers are foreign visitors. But, the government has implemented strictly the policy against this malicious act. Any driver caught overcharging their passengers can be penalized. That is why commuters must see to it that meter is turned on whenever riding a taxicab. Minimum taxi fare is at Php 40.00 (as of 2013). Some taxis are on call which means when someone needs taxi service, they can just dial their telephone numbers to be fetched in the point of origin. There are many taxi companies in Manila which can be found in the directory.


With so many streets in Manila area, driving around can be a bit tricky. Many drivers might still get lost even if the roads have signs stating the street name because of interweaving paths and crowded sidewalks. Additionally, there is a huge number of public and private vehicles running which usually cause heavy traffic specifically during rush hours. Using a map can be of great help to aid you in directions. However, when you get off the city proper, driving can be painless since there are less traffic and vehicles.

Parking areas are generally present in most establishments. Oftentimes, malls have huge parking space for their customers which is free. On the other hand, there are parking areas in the city like in business centers which charge certain amount of money per hour or sometimes at fixed rate.

Car hire:

Rent a car is very helpful to travelers who do not want to commute while staying in Manila. The rate of hiring a car depends on the type of car to be rented and the duration of the contract. Brand new and branded cards often cost higher. But of course, these kinds of vehicles have special features that drivers can truly enjoy while maneuvering the car. Meanwhile, there are rent a car firms in Manila that offer cheap rates. In fact, some of these firms have special promos to attract customers. To be able to hire a car, there are specific requirements needed especially if you are foreigner. The firm might ask for passport copy and a valid drivers license. Be sure to inquire regarding the policy and insurance coverage before signing any leasing contract. In addition, check carefully the vehicle before driving off the garage to make certain of its condition and possible damage. There are plenty of companies offering rent a car service in Manila so you have many options to decide on.

Bicycle/Bike hire:

Some car hire firms in Manila also offer bikes for rent. Big bikes are the most common types to be rented specifically by foreign men. With heavy traffic, bikes are practical options to easily get into any destination and avoid being stuck for hours on the road. Bicycle for hire is not really available in the city. However, bicycles can be rented in some parks to trail around the area.