Pasig River ferry back in operation, free rides until Jan. 31

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THE PASIG River Ferry Services is back in operation, providing an alternative mode of transport between the cities of Pasig and Manila. Trips on the ferry will be for free, on a first come-first served basis, until January 31, according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Danilo D. Lim. “Expect better services with additional safe and speedy boats, rehabilitated ferry stations and additional personnel,” Mr. Lim said in a statement after the relaunching ceremony on Monday in partnership with the Department of Transportation. The ferry service, managed by the MMDA, will have seven different-sized boats that can accommodate a maximum of 16, 36, and 57 passengers. Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, in a statement, said the revival of the water transport service improves the people’s “mobility at (and) connectivity,” and most importantly, helps decongest Metro Manila’s roads.

The ceremony was also attended by Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Victor “Vico” N. Sotto. The Pasig City government owns two of the 57-seater boats that will be part of the fleet. Mr. Sotto, in a post on his official Facebook page, said: “Ang trapik at kakulangan sa mobilidad ay mabibigyan lang ng solusyon kung nagtutulungan ang mga lokal na pamahalaan sa mga nasyonal na ahensiya. Magandang simula ito (Traffic and lack of mobility can only be solved if local governments and national agencies work together. This is a good start).” The government also launched last Sunday a ferry service between Cavite and Metro Manila. It will operate to and from the Metrostar Ferry Terminal in Cavite City to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Port in Pasay City. Another route will be operated from the Metrostar Ferry Terminal to Lawton (Liwasang Bonifacio) in Manila and vice versa. — Arjay L. Balinbin