Pasig ferry: see Manila in a new Perspective
When we go home to the Philippines for our much awaited holiday we are often discouraged to go around Metro Manila because the streets are perpetually clogged by heavy traffic. But with the Pasig River Ferry Service on its way to full operation, visitors can now dodge the headache-inducing traffic, save precious time and even see the city in a new perspective.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced that the Pasig ferry is giving free seats from 28 April to 2 May to entice passengers to try the new service. After the soft launch, passengers will have to pay Php25 to Php50 for a ticket.
While in its initial stage of operations, the ferry can transport passengers to and from four stations: Plaza Mexico-Intramuros and Pureza-PUP in Manila, Guadalupe in Makati and Pinagbuhatan in Pasig. The service runs from 6am to 7pm and passengers will be given free coffee on board and blood pressure check-ups.
Five boats with a capacity of 28 persons will be used during the soft launch. MMDA planning officer Rey Lunas said that the ride from Makati to Pasig will take around 30 to 35 minutes.
This week’s ferry service is being managed by MMDA, the Department of Transportation and Communication and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission until private operators take over. MMDA plans to open more stations and even launch an app that will help passengers track arrival and departure times.
The plan to revive the Pasig ferry service was revealed by MMDA early this year in a bid to lessen traffic in Metro Manila. Modern ferry service initially started in the 1990s but subsequent services failed to take off because of low passenger count and pollution-related problems. There are 17 stations all in all: seven in Manila, two in Makati, one in Mandaluyong and seven in Pasig.
The last time the service ran was in 2011.