MMDA: New boat added to ferry fleet
A NEW commuter boat with 45-passenger capacity will be introduced today Sept. 16 to further promote the Pasig River Ferry system as an alternative mode of transportation in Metro Manila.
The new boat, according to Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, is a fiberglass ferry capable of carrying 45 passengers, including crew, and can travel up to 12 knots.
“All in all, we now have a total of 11 operational ferries in our fleet. These will service passengers along Pasig River, which stretches from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City up to Plaza Mexico in Manila. I am optimistic that this will further boost commuter patronage,” Tolentino said.
At present, the ferry service has 11 stations which include Pinagbuhatan, and San Joaquin in Pasig City; Guadalupe and Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong City; PUP Sta. Mesa, Sta. Ana, Lambingan, Lawton, Escolta, and Plaza Mexico all in Manila.
The system operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Mondays to Sundays.
MMDA records showed that the total ridership of the ferry system has reached 121, 839 as of Aug. 26.
Five months ago, the MMDA opened four new terminals to accommodate more passengers. The new terminals are situated in Hulo Station in Mandaluyong City, Valenzuela Station in Makati City, and Lawton and Lambingan stations, both in Manila.
The agency is also planning to extend the ferry service in the areas of Libis in Quezon City and in Marikina City River Bank.
“This is our way to help the people find an alternative mode of transportation. We all know that major roads are congested because of numerous projects like the Skyway Stage 3 and the Naia elevated expressway,” said Tolentino.
The MMDA revived the Pasig River system in April last year as a means to decongest Metro Manila’s major roads affected by 15 road construction projects being implemented by the Aquino administration in the next two years.
Tolentino said the program also aimed to boost Metro Manila’s tourism and can be used for disaster and rescue purposes as well.
Reports showed that the government stopped the Pasig River Ferry operations in 2011 following complaints from passengers about the long waiting time at the terminals and the river’s foul smell.