With that out of the way, let's get started.
Basics of Commuting Within Makati City
Generally, there's not much difference between commuting within Makati, and commuting within the other cities in Metro Manila. You can ride either a (1) bus; (2) jeepney (or simply "jeep"); (3) taxi; (4) train like the LRT/MRT/PNR; or (5) your private vehicle.
Since this article tackles commuting (i.e. the use of public transportation), we will only discuss numbers 1, 2 and 4. We won't tackle number 5 for obvious reasons, and number 3 is basically like number 5 — except the driver is a complete stranger.
Also, as you can see here, there are several ways to get around Makati via public transportation. For the sake of clarity and brevity, however, we will tackle only the most important one (i.e. the Makati Central Business District). Besides, the linked map above isn't exactly the easiest to interpret for beginners. (Even this seasoned commuter found the map a little confusing to read!)
Again, let's start our engines, and hit the road.
The Makati Central Business District
The Makati Central Business District (or "CBD" for short) is bounded by four roads: Senator Gil Puyat Avenue (a.k.a. "Buendia"), Chino Roces (a.k.a. "Pasong Tamo"), Arnaiz Avenue (a.k.a. "Pasay Road" or "Libertad Road") and EDSA. As the name implies, this is where all the "action" in Makati is, so to speak.
Luckily, it's easy to get around this particular area. "Loading" and "Unloading" areas are clearly marked, and bus and jeepney drivers obey them (most of the time). If you get lost, you can always walk a little further until you see a sign, and it will point you in the right direction.
Of course, "lost" is the last state you want to be in when you're in an unfamiliar place like Makati. So here's a quick primer of what to ride to get to/from the Makati Central Business District:
Whether you come from the intersection of Roxas Boulevard and Buendia, or from one of the northern areas (Quezon City, Pasig, Mandaluyong, Marikina), you can ride a bus with the sign LRT-Ayala-Leveriza. The bus will turn right at Ayala Avenue, and you can get off at the "Unloading" area of your choice like:
- In front of Glorietta;
- On the intersection of Paseo de Roxas and Ayala Avenue (watch out for landmarks like the Ninoy Aquino Monument and the BPI Main Building); or
- On the intersection of Ayala Avenue and Buendia (in front of RCBC Plaza).
Now, this is a trickier one. A lot of jeeps pass along Ayala Avenue. However, each of them has a different route, and only one of them traverses the entirety of the aforementioned avenue. That "one" is the Ayala-MRT-Washington jeep, or simply known as the "Washington jeep."
If you come from the West, you can ride this jeep from the part of Washington Street that touches Buendia Avenue (in front of the LPL building). The jeep will go straight along Buendia, turn right at Ayala Avenue, go all the way, and drive to the other side of EDSA before heading back eastward. That's the point where you can get off, walk a few meters, and ride the MRT EDSA station.
However, the Washington jeep has a slightly different route when you're going eastward. From EDSA, it will go straight along Ayala Avenue, turn left at Yakal Street, turn left again along Pasong Tamo, turn right along Urban Avenue (near the Exportbank Plaza) before stopping at Washington.
The rest of the jeeps travel within the CBD (and, sometimes, beyond). There's the "Bel-Air-Washington" jeep, the "Ayala loop" jeep and the "Makati loop" jeep. Be sure to ask the barkers for more information about the routes, or refer to the linked map above.
For those of you commuting within the Salcedo and Legaspi Village areas, you'll be pleased to know that e-jeepneys exist. You can find more information about their so-called "Green Routes" here.
Unfortunately for regular Light Rail Transit (LRT) commuters, there's no direct link between the LRT and the Makati Business District. However:
- If you're on the LRT1 line, get off at EDSA station. Walk towards the MRT3 Taft station, ride it, and get off at Ayala station. If you can see either SM or Glorietta outside, you're on the right track (no pun intended).
- If you're on the LRT2 line, get off at the Cubao station. Walk towards the nearest MRT3 station, ride it, and get off at Ayala station.
On the other hand, you may be adventurous enough to try the (in)famous Philippine National Railways. In that case, your best bet is to get off at the PNR Buendia station, and ride one of the buses/jeeps with the "Ayala" sign from there.
And that's it for a crash course on commuting within the Makati Central Business District. If you have more questions, suggestions, or violent reactions, drop us a line in the comments below!