‘Water jeepneys’ start plying Manila-Cavite routes
MANILA, Philippines — Commuters who wish to avoid heavy traffic on the roads can opt to sail on Manila Bay with the Department of Transportation (DOTr) introducing on Sunday a new sea route between Cavite province and Manila.
Starting Monday, Dec. 9, “water jeepneys”can take passengers from Cavite City Port Terminal to a section of the Pasig River near Liwasang Bonifacio (formerly Lawton) in Manila and a quay on the Manila side of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) complex in 15 to 20 minutes, instead of commuting by bus or car for two to three hours.
The MV Seaborne Mercury, which can accommodate 27 passengers, and the MV Island Sabtang, which can seat 57 passengers, will start operating this week under limited operations, according to a DOTr statement.
Sabtang offers three trips to and from Cavite and Liwasang Bonifacio (5:15 a.m., 7:45 a.m. and 5:45 a.m.), while Seaborne offers four trips to and from Cavite to CCP (6 a.m. and 8 a.m., and 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.)
Shogun Ships Co. Inc. and Seaborne Shipping Co. Inc., which own the ferries, announced that they were offering the service for free starting Monday until Jan. 9, 2020 (for Seaborne), and until Jan. 31, 2020 (for Sabtang).
After a month, passengers will pay a regular fee of P180 per ride, while students, senior citizens and people with disabilities will pay a lower fare of P114 to P128.
Children aged 3 and below will enjoy free rides while those between 4 and 11 will pay P80.
The DOTr is still negotiating the fares with the two companies to make the water jeepneys more accessible to the public.
Apart from the new ferry service, the DOTr and the Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) also opened the registration for recreational boats in Cavite to boost local tourism.
Under Marina Circular No. DS-2019-1, vessels reaching up to 46 meters with up to 10 tons in capacity should follow standards for design and safety components in order to regulate the wayfaring vessels.
The water jeepneys were first introduced in the mass transport system in Cebu province. These are seen as a viable alternative for commuters within Mega Manila, especially as vehicular congestion chokes the capital region.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.