Because of to insistent public demand, the newly launched Pasig River Ferry service has extended its free rides for one more week, according to the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on Friday said the “Libreng Sakay” extension will enable the agency and proponents of the revived ferry system to fine-tune the operations of the mass transport system.
“Public acceptance of the ferry system is overwhelming. We are thankful that commuters now realize the benefits of a fast and convenient transport system along Pasig River,” Tolentino noted.
During its April 28 launch, the ferry treated at least 5,000 commuters to free rides. Passengers are insured for P250,000 each and get free coffee and pandesal.
“In just a week, we have removed 5,000 commuters from the land. This is a very big reduction in our carbon footprint,” Tolentino said.
The MMDA has opened three terminals, namely, Guadalupe in Makati City, Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City, and the Escolta terminal in Manila. Of the three, the MMDA said the Makati-Manila route was well-received by passengers.
Tolentino earlier met with the Escolta Heritage Association that expressed gratitude to the MMDA for reviving public interest in Escolta as a food tourism site.
Next week, MMDA will launch a new mobile application to enable commuters to view the ferry schedule using their mobile phones.
The ferry system aims to promote the Pasig River as an alternative solution to Metro Manila’s traffic problems and to decongest major roads affected by 15 construction projects being implemented by the government in the next two years.
This alternative mode of transportation is an inter-agency effort of the MMDA, the Department of Transportation and Communications and the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.