THE Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) extended anew for another month the free rides at the Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS).
“We are happy to hear that people are enjoying the ferry ride going to their destinations and commuting by ferry have become a way of life to Metro Manila residents. That is why we are extending the free ride until March 31,” said MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim.
Every day, the PRFS accommodates an average of 700-1,000 passengers, a sign that people opt to use the ferry service as an alternative mode of transportation to the already congested Metro Manila road network, Lim added.
Anticipating an increase in number of passengers, MMDA Deputy Chairman Frisco San Juan Jr., PRFS overall head, said more ferry boats will be added and ferry stations will be put up soon to better serve the public with the support of both national and local government units of Metro Manila.
In addition, plans to construct three more ferry stations, namely: Quinta Market in Manila, Circuit Makati in Makati, and Kalawaan in Pasig to further expand the operations are also underway. Some private groups have also expressed their intention to put up their own ferry stations to serve their immediate areas.
Michael Salalima, MMDA PRFS deputy head, said the PRFS, at present, has eight boats which can accommodate varying number of passengers and soon 150-seater ferries will be cleared for use as well.
The free ride, which started in December last year, was supposed to end today, February 29. Commuters are served on a first-come-first served basis.
The revival of the PRFS is in line with President Duterte’s order to address the traffic problem in Metro Manila. The ferry service first sailed last 2014.
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, Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong City; and Lambingan, Sta. Ana, PUP, Lawton, Escolta in Manila City.