Can boats on Pasig River contribute to solving Metro Manila traffic?

August 3, 2018 - 7:45 PM
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This wooden boat offer cheap rides across the Pasig River to commuters. (Photo by Ria Flora)

One commuter has shared how a 5-peso wooden boat ride on Pasig River saved her from clocking in late at a company-sponsored training session.

Saved by the boat

Commuter Ria Flora, an energy trader for a renewable energy company who regularly works in Ayala, was on her way to Ortigas for a company-sponsored training session when she was forced to look for alternative transportation due to standstill traffic along EDSA.

She found herself stuck near the dreaded Guadalupe station along EDSA.

Knowing how severe the crowd control was in the nearest Metro Rail Transit station, she decided to try the wooden boat usually offered to help transport commuters across the Pasig River.

The boat was something she usually saw during her commute, said Flora.

She ended up being dropped off in Barangay Buayang Bato on the other side of the Pasig River and tried to look for a way to go to Cityland Pioneer.

Defunct Pasig River Ferry System

Flora, in a separate tweet, pointed to the defunct Pasig River Ferry transporting people along the river as an alternative form of transport aside from the wooden boats.

The Pasig River Ferry was launched in 2014 by Metro Manila Development Authority.

The MMDA proposed its revival as an alternate mode of public transport for commuters affected by traffic across Metro Manila. The ferry service runs from Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Plaza Mexico in Manila.

Its service was reportedly frequently suspended due to heavy rains that caused water lilies and garbage to clog the river.

Early this year, President Rodrigo Duterte approved the revival of the Pasig River Ferry to solve the severe traffic in Metro Manila.

Makati City Representative Luis N. Campos Jr. said that at least P2 billion was required to revive the ferry system with smaller boats passing through more stations at a faster speed.

Flora said she was surprised that she had a fast trip on the wooden boat, but she pointed out that no life vests were given.

She added that it would be a great help for those who are in a hurry. She suggested that local government units provide help in solving this problem.

She stressed that land transportation is not the only option and the utilization of the Pasig River should be maximized too. — Story by Jasmine Salanga