IN a move to help parents buy school supplies for their children in Manila’s Divisoria area, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will be providing free rides in the Pasig River ferry starting on Saturday.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino on Friday said the special free rides from Guadalupe, Makati City, to Escolta, Manila, which is nearest Divisoria, will only be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on May 10, 17 and 24.
“It will only be for three Saturdays to help parents go to Divisoria without hassle and at the same time reduce traffic congestion along roadways [leading]to Divisoria,” Tolentino added.
At the same time, the MMDA also extended for another week the free rides in the ferry service.
The Pasig River ferry system, which started initial operation on April 28, is now on its second week of providing free rides to commuters.
Thousands of passengers have patronized the river-based transport service.
At present, regular ferry operation is only from Mondays to Fridays, plying Guadalupe, Makati; Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City; and Escolta, Manila, routes. Each passenger is insured for P250,000.
Free coffee and pandesal are also served to passengers at the terminals.
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.
The MMDA chief proposed the revival of the ferry 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 Skyway Stage 3.
It is also aimed to boost Metro Manila’s tourism and can be used for disaster and rescue purposes as well.
This alternative mode of transportation is an inter-agency effort being pushed by the MMDA, Department of Transportation and Communications, and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission.