MMDA to provide free Ferry Service on Saturdays

By , on May 10, 2014


MANILA (PNA) — To help parents buy school supplies for their children in Divisoria, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be providing free rides in the Pasig River ferry starting this Saturday, May 10.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said the special free rides from Guadalupe, Makati City to Escolta, Manila, the nearest route to Divisoria, will only be from 8 am to 2 pm on May 10, 17, and 24.

“It will only be for three Saturdays to help parents go to Divisoria without hassle and at the same time reduce traffic congestion along roadways bound to and from Divisoria,” Tolentino said.

The Pasig River ferry system, which started initial operation on April 28, is now on its second week of providing free rides to commuters. Thousands of passengers have patronized the river-based transport service.

As of this time, the regular ferry operation is only from Mondays to Fridays, plying Guadalupe, Makati; Pinagbuhatan, Pasig; and Escolta, Manila routes. Each passenger is insured for P250,000.

Each boat has capacity of 30 persons and free coffee and pandesal are also served to passengers at the terminals.

Tolentino said they will release the fare matrix of the ferry boats on May 15, which ranges from P25 to P50

Meanwhile, Tolentino said that it will use its ferry boats to transport injured persons in nearby hospitals in case Metro Manila gets hit by a disaster.

The MMDA Chief said they will utilize the ferry boats during disasters like earthquakes to carry passengers and deliver them to the nearest hospital.

Tolentino cited the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa, Manila which is near the PUP ferry terminal.

In case of typhoons, he said the ferry boats will stop its operations if a public storm signal number 1 will be raised by the PAGASA.

Earlier, Tolentino said the ferry boats will serve its role as a “back-up,” aside from patrolling around the area.

The ferry boat project aims to revive the Pasig River ferry system as an alternative solution to Metro Manila’s traffic problems due to the number of road works.

The MMDA chief proposed the revival of the Pasig River system as a means to decongest Metro Manila’s major roads affected by 15 road construction projects being implemented in the next two years, including the Skyway Stage 3.

It is also aimed to boost Metro Manila’s tourism and can be used for disaster and rescue purposes as well.This alternative mode of transportation is an inter-agency effort being pushed by the DOTC, MMDA, and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC). (PNA)