By Rose Anne Dela Cruz
IN A bid to entice the public to use the Pasig River Ferry Service, a member of House of Representatives said more air-conditioned boats should be deployed and boat stations constructed along its 28 kilometer or 17.4 mile river route.
At the same time, Makati City 2nd District Rep. Luis Campos Jr. lauded as a bold move Malacañang’s decision to revive the ferry service. He noted that the renewal of the service will help fight the worsening road congestion in Metro Manila.
Malacañang found a huge potential in the Pasig River Ferry Service as an alternative mode of transportation for commuters, particularly those coming from the East side of the Metro to reach specific destinations within the cities of Manila, Mandaluyong, Pasig, Taguig, Marikina and Quezon City.
Campos added that the old ferry service flopped simply because the private operator digressed from the original plan to deploy 18 boats with a seating capacity of 50 each.
In the Pasig River Ferry Convergence Program approved by President Rodrigo Duterte during the April 4 cabinet meeting, it was agreed that 17 additional stations for the Ferry Service will be constructed to make it a more reliable mode of public transportation.
At present, the ferry service, which runs at 17 knots or 31 kilometers per hour, has 12 stations namely: Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin, Maybunga in Pasig City; Guadalupe and Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong City; Lambingan, Sta. Ana, PUP Sta. Mesa Campus, Lawton, Escolta, and Plaza Mexico in Manila. However, the PUP and Sta. Ana Stations are undergoing repair.
Apart from the additional stations, the government is also planning to have 24 boats that will service an estimated 76,000 commuters per day or 19,836,000 a year.