VARIOUS quarters expect the number of passengers, many of them students, workers and other ordinary commuters, patronizing the Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) to increase this year.
This is partly due to the efforts of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), chaired by Gen. Danilo Lim, who used to head the elite and battle-ready Army Scout Rangers.
The ferry service runs from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Escolta in Manila, with 11 stations: Pinagbuhatan, San Joaquin and Maybunga in Pasig City; Guadalupe and Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong City; and Lambingan, Sta. Ana, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Lawton and Escolta in Manila.
Note that monumental traffic jams, particularly during “rush hours,” continue to worry commuters and government authorities in the metropolis and surrounding towns and cities.
Last December, aware of the worsening problem of traffic congestion not only in National Capital Region (NCR) but elsewhere, the MMDA launched the highly-successful PRFS free ride.
The free ride project was supposed to end last Saturday, February 29, but was extended to March 31. Overall head of PRFS is MMDA Deputy Chairman Frisco San Juan Jr.
Lim, a former deputy commissioner of the Bureau of Customs, said “we are happy to hear that people are enjoying the ferry ride,” adding commuting by ferry has become “a way of life in MM.”
Statistics show that every day, the PRFS services an average of 700 to 1,000 passengers, a sign that people now opt to use the ferry service as an alternative mode of transportation.
PRFS deputy head Michael Salalima said the MMDA revived the ferry service, which uses eight boats, in line with President Duterte’s order to address the traffic problem in MM.
The rising number of private groups willing to join the ferry service is ample proof that “malaki ang naitutulong ng proyekto para maibsan ang pagsisikip ng trapiko sa NCR at karatig-pook.”
Thus, we commend the MMDA, headed by the former Army general from Nueva Vizcaya, for doing a great job in encouraging passengers to patronize the Pasig River Ferry Service.