This morning of 15th January I went to Guadalupe Makati as I planned to document the views of Pasig River from Guadalupe in Makati to Manila. I boarded the River Ferry at Guadalupe station at about 12 noon and arrived in Arroceros Station after 45 minutes cruising the River.
The Guadalupe Ferry station was rather clean, modern looking and airconditioned. The water of Pasig River seems no longer polluted and smelly compared to about 10 or 5 years ago. It also had facilities for the handicapped and considering that the travel time from Guadalupe Makati to Escolta is only 45 minutes and without inhaling smokes from vehicles then this River transportation is a good option compared to Jeepney and Buses.
Unfortunately my digicam became low-batt when we were nearing the vicinity of Pandacan, so I was not able to take the photos of Pasig River from Pandacan to Intramuros (my original disembarkation point in the Ferry ticket) I disembarked in Arroceros Station since my Digicam is low-batt and no point to proceed to Intramuros. Anytime this week, I will board again the Pasig River to continue documenting the beautiful, the not-so-beautiful, and the historical view of Pasig River from Intramuros to Pasig City.
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 system is owned by a private company, Nautical Transport Services, Incorporated and is operated by Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission. Although commonly referred to as a ferry, it is more akin to a water bus.
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.
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.
The present-day service is also used as an instrument by the Pasig River Rehabilitation 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).
The Ferry Network
The map of the entire Pasig River Ferry Service. Several stations depicted are not yet operational.
The new, revised schedule of the Pasig River Ferry Service effective August 11, 2008.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 Guadalupe station in Makati City up to Santa Elena station in Marikina City.
The Marikina River Line will begin operation 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.
As of August 11, 2008, there are 14 operational ferry stations:
Related Links :
A dying river comes back to life
Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission
Pasig River Ferry - From Escolta in Manila to Brgy Valenzuela in Makati
Pasig River Ferry from Brgy Valenzuela in Makati City to Brgy Kalawaan in Pasig City.
Videos of Pasig River :