MMDA starts Pasig River ferry service
Mike Frialde (The Philippine Star) - April 28, 2014 - 4:09pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) launched its ferry service along Pasig River on Monday morning.

MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino led the launch of the ferry service at the Guadalupe terminal in Makati City at about 7 a.m.

Five ferries, including the MMDA's "bus river ferry" ferried passengers to and from the Guadalupe terminal and the Pinagbuhatan terminal in Pasig City. The other four ferries are privately operated. All the ferries are not aircondtioned, the MMDA said.

Tolentino said the ferry service will be offering free rides for one week. The ferries were supposed to dock at the terminals in Sta. Mesa, Escolta and Plaza Mexico, all in Manila. However, Tolentino said the ferries were not allowed to dock at the three terminals because of the visit of US President Barack Obama.

Tolentino said the ferries will be serving all five terminals starting on Wednesday and will operate everyday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The MMDA had proposed a revival of the Pasig River ferry service as an alternate mode of public transport for commuters who will be affected by traffic jams expected to be generated by the 15 major infrastructure projects across Metro Manila that will be completed by 2016.

The revival of the Pasig River ferry service is a joint project by the MMDA, the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC).

Tolentino said the fare of the ferry service will have to be fixed later by the MMDA. He said the MMDA is looking at fixing the fare between P25 and P50.

He said the MMDA will also come out with an application for smartphones that would map out the entire Pasig River ferry service, including the ferry schedules.

Meanwhile, the DOTC said the Pasig River ferry service forms part of the greater intermodal system of transportation for Metro Manila.

"The Pasig Ferry service system, if you would look at the route of the Pasig. it courses right through the center of Manila and crosses through districts like Fort Bonifacio and Makati," DOTC Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco.

"What is important to notice is the new route will connect with our new jeepney routes so the People getting down from the Pasig will go easily, can use intermodal transport to reach their destination.That's why it is key that this Pasig ferry system be intermodal," he added. -- with interns Kim Nunez and Angelyn Mesa

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATION ESCOLTA AND PLAZA MEXICO FERRY FORT BONIFACIO AND MAKATI FRANCIS TOLENTINO METRO MANILA MMDA PASIG PASIG RIVER SERVICE TOLENTINO
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