TO address the imminent traffic gridlocks because of the coming holiday rush, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is considering extending the operating hours of the Pasig River Ferry System.
MMDA Chairperson Francis Tolentino said the move to extend the ferry’s operating hours would help ease traffic jams especially during the holidays and allow the public a traffic-free shopping.
At present, ferry operation is from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The ferry system that traverses the length of Pasig River serves passengers from as far as Pinagbuhatan station in Pasig up to Intramuros station in Manila.
It passes the Quiapo and Escolta stations that are traditionally the destinations of holiday shoppers.
“What we’ll do is to strengthen the ferry operations as this would be largely used by the commuting public,” Tolentino said.
Since its re-launch in April this year, the number of ferry passengers has been increasing steadily.
Each ferry can carry a maximum of 30 passengers who are charged between P30 and P50 depending on the distance traveled.
The MMDA together with the Department of Transportation and Communication and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission revived the ferry system as a means to decongest Metro Manila’s major roads affected by the ongoing 15 road projects across Metro Manila.
A similar private ferry service along the Pasig River went out of business in 2011.