MANILA — To provide alternative transport during the Yuletide season and also to help ease traffic jams, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Sunday announced decision to extend the operating hours of the Pasig River Ferry System in time for the Christmas season.
“We will extend the operating hours of Pasig ferry to allow the public a traffic-free shopping,” MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said during the agency’s weekly radio program on Sunday.
Since its revival last April, the Pasig ferry system has six terminals in Sta. Ana, Escolta, PUP Sta. Mesa and Plaza Mexico in Manila; Guadalupe in Makati City; and Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City operating from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
Tolentino, however, did not say how many hours will be extended to the ferry system to accommodate more passengers.
He said the MMDA will step up the operations of the ferry specially during Christmas season when heavy traffic is usually being experienced by motorists.
“What we’ll do is to strengthen the ferry operations as this would be largely used by the commuting public,” he added.
Each ferry can carry a maximum of 30 passengers.
Passengers are charged between P30 and P50 depending on the distance travelled.
The Pasig Ferry is jointly operated by the private sector and the government through MMDA, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
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.
Tolentino earlier 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 at boosting Metro Manila’s tourism and can be used for disaster and rescue purposes as well.