Angara sees Pasig River ferry system as alternative amid Metro traffic woes
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara on Sunday pushed for improvements in the Pasig River ferry system which he sees as an alternative mode of transport to help ease the traffic situation in Metro Manila.
The senator said the ferry system could serve as an alternative while waiting for “big-ticket infrastructure projects” such as the skyway extension, MRT and LRT line expansions and rehabilitation of the Philippine National Railways.
“I have mentioned this before after seeing the potential of the Pasig River ferry as a way to ease traffic in the metropolis. A feasibility study has already been conducted for this project and from what we have been told, we can have a fully operational ferry transport system in just one year,” Angara said in a statement.
“Unlike the road infrastructure, which entails massive disruptions to traffic and other issues such as road right of way, the Pasig River ferry project simply involves constructing or refurbishing the stations and purchasing the vessels,” he added.
Angara also expressed confidence that the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) would be able to do the dredging activities needed to allow the ferries to travel the whole stretch of Pasig River.
There are currently 14 ferry stations along Pasig River but only 11 are operational, the senator said, adding that of the nine passenger boats of the ferry system, only two are operating daily.
“Improving ridership is definitely a challenge, but one that can easily be addressed by ensuring that the ferry system will be able to operate reliably and consistently. Passengers need to know that the ferry will arrive on time and that they will get to their destinations on schedule,” Angara said.
“Eventually, we have to ensure passenger access to the ferry stations. This means the riders should be able to get to and from the other modes of transport such as the MRT and LRT stations and bus stops,” he added.
Further, Angara said that the government should come up with solution to help ease the situation of commuters.
“Transport crisis or not, the fact that thousands of commuters are having an extremely difficult time getting to their destinations should already prompt immediate action from the entire government,” the senator said. /je
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