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Daily Archives: February 2, 2013

Reviving the Pasig River Ferry, again

The Pasig River Ferry is in the news again as a major corporation considers reviving the ferry. I’m just not so sure about their motivation for this as what I’ve read on news media seems to say that their plan for reviving the ferry service is linked with their real estate projects, especially one in Manila that’s shaping into Circuit Manila, on land that used to be the Sta. Ana race track. The nearest ferry terminal or station would be the Valenzuela ferry terminal, which is accessible via S. Osmena St. The same street connects to Makati City Hall. Public transport should be service oriented, which the main reason why many public transport systems, particularly rail transit, losing financial ventures and have to be subsidized by governments around the world. But note that I mentioned “financial” in the previous statement because there are definite and established benefits from economic perspective.  I’m giving the benefit of the doubt, however, in so far as the track record of the company gives us hope that their entry would be good from the management and marketing perspective of the ferry system. A successful venture here would prove the viability of a water-based system that has so much potential considering it could connect Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong and Pasig directly with other towns of the provinces of Rizal and Laguna around the Laguna De Bay.

IMG_0408There are many informal settlers along the stretch of the Muelle del Rio (now also known as Riverside Drive) from MacArthur Bridge to Plaza Mexico in Intramuros. Several families can be seen living under the bridges or with their carts along the linear park.

IMG_0409The Plaza Mexico Station of the Pasig River Ferry

Reviving the Pasig River Ferry would take a lot of effort and that effort does not yet include the marketing required to attract passengers for the ferry. Of course, one way to promote the use of the ferry is if people can be convinced that using it could cut down their travel times between origins and destinations. While the ferry may provide a more direct route along the river, connectivity with other modes of transport (e.g., road public transport) and pedestrian facilities should increase ridership. Needless to say, affordability (i.e., fare rates) and safety/security are essential components for an attractive mode for commuting. The tourism aspect would just be a bonus in terms of users.