Pasig River ferry service relaunched
Commuters can avail themselves of free rides at the Pasig River ferry, which was relaunched yesterday at the Lawton station in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Edd Gumban
Pasig River ferry service relaunched
Rey Galupo, Marc Jayson Cayabyab (The Philippine Star) - December 10, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) relaunched yesterday the rehabilitated Pasig River ferry service, increasing its fleet to seven passenger boats to accommodate more commuters wanting to escape the monstrous road traffic in the metropolis.

Present during the relaunching at the Lawton station were Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, Mayors Isko Moreno and Vico Sotto of Manila and Pasig, respectively, Sen. Bong Go, Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu and Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo.

The MMDA kicked off the relaunching of the ferry transportation program with free rides until Jan. 31 next year.

Go said the Senate would find a way to increase the MMDA’s budget to extend the free rides until end of 2020.

Lim said the free rides seek to entice commuters to take the ferry service instead of public utility vehicles along Metro Manila roads.

Commuters will be accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis.  

The ferry transport system was launched in 2014 and a phone app was unveiled last year to further promote the ferry service.

But the rehabilitation and full operations of the transport system were delayed due to budgetary constraints.

Lim said with the renewed support from Malacañang, the MMDA rehabilitated the ferry stations, with a plan to build additional stations at the Quinta Market in Manila, Circuit Makati in Makati and Kalawaan in Pasig.

The MMDA also plans to engage the private sector to purchase more passenger boats.

The ferry service has 11 stations spanning the 25-kilometer Pasig River: Escolta, Lawton, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Sta. Ana and Lambingan stations in Manila; Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin and Maybunga stations in Pasig; Valenzuela and Guadalupe stations in Makati, and Hulo station in Mandaluyong.

The local government of Pasig donated two new ferry boats that were added to the existing Pasig River ferry service fleet. The two boats, named M/B Mutya ng Pasig 1 and M/B Mutya ng Pasig 2, can carry 57 passengers each.

MMDA general manager Garcia said the ferry service can accommodate up to 14,000 passengers, and could decongest traffic along EDSA and other major thoroughfares by providing an alternative mode of transport.

The MMDA also installed closed-circuit television cameras on the boats and distributed radio equipment to the ferry personnel in case of emergencies.

Metro Manila mayors vowed to support the ferry service so it can become an alternative transportation for commuters.

Moreno and Sotto said commuters can now access Pasig and Manila in a short time without riding in a bus, jeep or the Light Rail Transit.

Moreno also vowed to donate two more ferry boats. 

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