TO ease an anticipated traffic gridlock caused by the lifting of the truck ban in Manila, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has beefed up the operation of the Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) to lure more commuters.
MMDA Planning Officer Rey Lunas on Sunday said more terminals will be opened to expand routes and accommodate more passengers.
Today, a new terminal will be opened in San Joaquin, Pasig City, near the Pinagbuhatan station.
The San Joaquin terminal will be the seventh station of the ferry service.
The Pasig ferry system has terminals in Santa Ana, Escolta, PUP Sta. Mesa and Plaza Mexico in Manila; Guadalupe in Makati City; and Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City.
Ferry services are from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.
The Pasig Ferry is jointly operated by the private sector and the government through MMDA, Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
With the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila (National capital Region or NCR), Lunas said more commuters have been patronizing the ferry service.
“Since April 28, we already removed almost 37,000 passengers from the roads because they wanted to avoid heavy traffic and are now taking the ferry,” he added.
Traffic in Metro Manila is expected to worsen with the decision of the city of Manila to lift the truck ban to help ease port congestion.
Malacañang and the MMDA lauded the decision of Mayor Joseph Estrada to lift the controversial truck ban.
“The lifting is timely since the Christmas season is just around the corner. This will help in decongesting the Port of Manila,” Palace deputy spokesperson Abigail Valte said.
“We expect that this would ease inflationary pressure on prices because of continuous supply movement,” she added.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said a sustainable solution will be crafted to address the traffic congestion that will arise from the lifting of the truck ban.
Tolentino is set to convene the Metro Manila Mayors Special Traffic Committee to discuss a responsive scheme that will incorporate Manila’s efforts in decongesting ports with those of the national government.
Some 79,850 trucks and 13,615 trailers ply Metro Manila’s thoroughfares daily.