The Metro Manila Development Authority will open two new Pasig River Ferry terminals to accommodate more passengers in the commercial district of Quezon City and eastern part of the metropolis.
MMDA chairman Emerson Carlos said the opening of the Rosario and Eastwood stations will coincide with the launching of two new ferries set to arrive before the end of the month. He added the brand new 25-seater commuter boats will arrive via Cebu.
“We encourage the people to try our ferry system. Our main purpose is to help them to have an alternative mode of transportation and skirt traffic on major roads in Metro Manila,” said Carlos.
The arrival of the new boats brings to 16 the total number of operational ferries.
Last November, the MMDA introduced two commuter boats—MB Inocentes and MB Tolentino—named after former MMDA chairman Oscar Inocentes and Francis Tolentino. The new fiberglass ferries are capable of carrying at least 35 passengers, including crew, and can travel up to 12 knots.
At present, the ferry system covers 12 other terminals in Pinagbuhatan, and San Joaquin in Pasig City; Guadalupe and Valenzuela in Makati City; Hulo in Mandaluyong City; PUP Sta. Mesa, Sta. Ana, Lambingan, Lawton, Escolta, and Plaza Mexico all in Manila.
The system operates from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Mondays to Sundays.
MMDA records showed that the total ridership of the ferry system has reached more than 150, 000 as of December last year.
The MMDA revived the Pasig River system in 2014 as a means to decongest Metro Manila’s major roads affected by road construction projects being implemented by the Aquino administration in the next two years.
Carlos said the program also aimed to boost Metro Manila’s tourism and can be used for disaster and rescue purposes as well.
The government stopped the Pasig River Ferry operations in 2011 following complaints from passengers about the long waiting time at the terminals and the river’s foul smell.