Pasig River Ferry Service


Pasig River Ferry Service

Infobox Public transit
name = Pasig River Ferry Service


imagesize = 100px


imagesize2 = 300px
locale = Metro Manila
transit_type = Water bus
began_operation = February 14, 2007
system_length = km to mi|28|abbr=yes|precision=2|wiki=yes
vehicles = 6 (5 in operation)
lines = 2
stations = 14
ridership = 9,000
average_speed=convert|10|kn|km/h
top_speed=convert|17|kn|km/h
owner = Nautical Transport Services, Incorporated
operator = Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission

The Pasig River Ferry Service, is the only water-based transportation that cruises the Pasig River from Barangay Kalawaan Sur in Pasig City to Intramuros, Manila. The entire system is owned by a private company, Nautical Transport Services, Incorporated and is operated by Pasig River Rehabiliation Commission. Although commonly referred to as a ferry, it is more akin to a water bus.

History

Pollution in the Pasig River contributed to the decline in ferry transport in the river in the 1960s. The present Pasig River Ferry Service superseded the two short-lived ferry projects in the entire Pasig River in the 1990s.

Magsaysay Lines

The Magsaysay Lines started operation during the year 1990 and had stations from Guadalupe in then-town of Makati down to Escolta in Manila (a total of 15 kilometers) and the service used sheds as stations. However the service lasted only for a year and it closed on 1991. The problems encountered during the operation were informal settlers, water lilies (since it prevents the boats from traveling at normal speeds), foul odor and garbage disposed on the river.

tarcraft Ferry

In 1996 another ferry service was launched, the Starcraft Ferry, this service's fleet was the ancestor of the current Pasig River Ferry Service fleet since this service had 30 units of catamaran-type boats (the same type used by the current Pasig River Ferry Service) with a seating capacity of 30 people with air-conditioning and unlike Magsaysay Lines, the route stretched from Bambang in Pasig City down to Escolta in Manila (a total of 16.2 kilometers). However, like the Magsaysay Lines, Starcraft Ferry only lasted for a year and it closed on 1997. Like the Magsaysay Lines, the problems encountered during the operation were informal settlers, water lilies (since it prevents the boats from traveling at normal speeds), foul odor and garbage disposed on the river.

Present-day Ferry Service

The present ferry service was inagurated by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on February 12, 2007 with five stations operating which includes Escolta, PUP, Sta. Ana, Hulo and Guadalupe. After a year, the entire system grew from 5 stations to 14 stations with more stations still being constructed.

Unlike the previous Pasig River ferry services, the current ferry service uses only 6 boats. However, to compensate for it, each boat can have as many as 150 people and has airconditioning, music on board/high definition televisions and comfort rooms within the boats. Also, unlike the two previous ferry services, the present service uses full stations with amenities such as comfort room, ticketing system, waiting seats and security guards. Also, it is the longest serving ferry in the river, both in terms of length of the route (28 kilometers and 2 lines) and the length of service (although the company did somewhat considered closing the ferry in June, 2008 due to low number of passengers). It is also the only ferry service that services the Marikina River from Riverbanks Center in Marikina City although the line is not yet operational.

The present-day ferry service is not without problems- in the early days of the service up to June, 2008, the low passenger turnout nearly put NTSI (Nautical Transport Services, Incorporated) in the brink of bankruptcy and even considered closing the ferry. Fortunately though, the continuing surge in the oil prices in the Philippines has forced commuters to jam pack in every alternative modes of transportation available, including the ferry. Since July, 2008, the passengers in the service increased 15% every week and almost all boats are in full capacity. This and other related events made the NTSI to consider purchasing more boats to beef-up capacity instead of closing. [http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2008/july/22/yehey/top_stories/20080722top4.html]

Although there are still pollution-related problems, nowadays, it seems to be reduced (odor and garbage problem isn't as worse as it did during the Magsaysay Lines and Starcraft Ferry days) through the efforts of the government, but the persistent problem of the water lilies blocking the pathway of the boats and their infestation on the stations on the river remains. [http://www.prrc.com.ph/Transportation.htm]

The present-day service is also used as an instrument by the Pasig River Rehabiliation Commission to educate the people on the importance of the environment. Lectures are conducted to both stakeholders from various companies and schools (at least four times a month) and to the regular passengers of the ferry (at least thrice a week). [http://www.prrc.com.ph/PIA2.htm]

The Ferry Network

The entire ferry network has 14 stations operational and 2 lines. The first line is the Pasig River Line which stretches from Plaza Mexico in Intramuros, Manila up to Kalawaan station in Pasig City. The second line is the Marikina River Line which serves the Pineda station in Pasig City up to Santa Elena station in Marikina City.

The Marikina River Line will be opened on October, 2008 with the opening of the Riverbanks Station near the recently-opened SM City Marikina in Marikina City. The Marikina River Line will begin operating with a single ferry to determine the feasibility of the line.

Through its entire operation, the ferry service changed their trip schedules several times. Each boat has a 30-minute, 1-hour, 2-hour and 3-hour trip intervals depending on the time of the day. Rush hours tend to have shorter boat intervals while off-peak hours tend to have longer boat intervals. This is done to maximize the ridership of each boats and to reduce over-consumption of fuel [Pasig ferry vows no fare increase http://209.85.175.104/search?q=cache:wro4ntgwER4J:www.manilastandardtoday.com/%3Fpage%3Dpolice2_july23_2008+Pasig+Ferry+ridership&hl=tl&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=ph&client=firefox-a] .

As of August 11, 2008, there are 14 operational ferry stations:

Facilities

Boats

The entire system uses twin-hulled, double-engined, catamaran-type boats that have a maximum seating capacity of 150 people. The boats are air-conditioned and all boats are equipped with radio, sound systems and a public address system and utilizes fixed plastic chairs and also contains separate comfort rooms for male and female. These boats were constructed by the Nautical Transport Services, Incorporated and was approved by the Maritime Industry Authority on December 10, 2006.

tations

The stations are fully-air conditioned and all are housed with separate comfort rooms for male and females. Also, every station are employed with cashiers that sells tickets for passengers.

The ticketing system used in some stations employ the paper-based traditional tickets similar to tickets issued in the buses in the Philippines. However, some stations, especially the first 5 stations (Escolta, PUP Station, Santa Ana, Hulo and Guadalupe) are employing the bar-code based ticketing system which are scanned with a bar-code reader in the turnstile to unlock it.

Fares

There are three prices of tickets available in the ferry, a P25, P35 and a P45 ticket. The Pasig River Ferry Service also provides student discounts for student passengers. A P20 ticket is available for students regardless of the distance.

ee also

* Water taxi
* Pasig River
* Marikina River
* Maritime Industry Authority
* Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission
* Department of Transportation and Communications (Philippines)
* Metro Manila Development Authority

References


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