Pasig River Ferry Service

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Pasig River Ferry Service
Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission Logo.png
Pasig Ferry.JPG
Overview
Owner SCC Nautical Transport Services Incorporated
Locale Metro Manila
Transit type Water bus
Number of lines 2 (none in operation)
Number of stations 14
Daily ridership 2,000
Operation
Began operation February 14, 2007
Operator(s) SCC Nautical Transport Services Incorporated
Number of vehicles 10
Technical
System length 28 km (17.40 mi)
Average speed 10 knots (19 km/h)
Top speed 17 knots (31 km/h)

The Pasig River Ferry Service, was the only water-based transportation that cruised the Pasig River from Barangay Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City to Intramuros, Manila. The system was owned and operated by a private company, SCC Nautical Transport Services Incorporated. Although commonly referred to as a ferry, it was more akin to a water bus.

In February 2011, the service was suspended, but was reopened on April 28, 2014.[1]

History[edit]

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 The present Pasig River Ferry Service superseded the two short-lived ferry projects in the entire Pasig River in the 1990s.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[edit]

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), using river-side sheds as stations. The service however lasted only for a year and closed in 1991. It's short-lived operations was beset by problems such as the proliferation of informal settlers along the route, water lilies, garbage and other debris clogging the waters (preventing the boats from traveling at normal speeds), aside from the foul odor permeating the environs.

Starcraft Ferry[edit]

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, and a smaller boat aptly name the M/V Tamaraw or the River Taxi, as during this same year the Tamaraw FX service became very popular, also it offers a seating of 12 people, also air-conditioned, and can be hired like a taxi service for travel along the river purposes, just like a Tamaraw FX taxi.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 in 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.

The project proponent Mr. Eduardo Manuel, is an environmental conservationist and a licensed SCUBA Diver, who also owns a diving school located at Santo Sepulcro Paco Manila. The Pasig River Ferry Transport 2000 project was an improvement of the earlier service provided by the Magsaysay Shipping Corporation. During the course of the operations of the Pasig River Transport 2000, its service offered a fresh solution to worsening traffic problem of the metropolis, but sadly the local government units involved in the project, fell short in its cooperation with the project proponent, which made it difficult to effectively provide the supposedly solution to the traffic problem of the Cities in the Metro Manila areas. During this time there was another business entity who were also interested to offer the same service, the Maharlika Transport, backed by the Uniwide Group of Company (Uniwide Sales, at present they are now the Puregold chain of groceries/superstores) of the Gao family. The two companies had a media battle as the Gao Group submitted the same project to the Philippine Marina and the DOTC.

During that same time, the two companies had a media battle which worked to the advantage of the project as it stirred the interest of the public, and the local government unit involved with the project. Later that same year of 1996, the media battle was won by the PR Group of the Pasig River Ferry Transport 2000, headed by Ms. Maria Rebecca Bacalan-Chica,an independent PR Practitioner,and was also the VP for Operations of the Starcraft Ferry Corporation, the project was awarded to the Starcraft Ferry Corporation, the boat manufacturer and operator of the Pasig River Transport Service. Barely a year of operation the company ceased its operation due to losses in income, as the local government units involved with the project was unable to deliver on their commitments to make the project work.

Latest Ferry Service[edit]

The revised schedule of the Pasig River Ferry Service effective 23 February 2009.

The latest ferry service was inaugurated by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 14, 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 to be constructed.

Unlike the previous Pasig River ferry services, this ferry service used only 10 boats. However, to compensate for it, each boat could have as many as 150 people and had air conditioning, music, high definition televisions and toilets on board. Also, unlike the two previous ferry services, this service had full stations with amenities such as toilets, ticketing system, waiting seats and security guards. Also, it was 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 was also the only ferry service that serviced the Marikina River from Riverbanks Center in Marikina City although the line was not yet operational.

This ferry service was not without problems. In the early days of the service up to June, 2008, the low passenger turnout nearly caused NTSI (Nautical Transport Services, Incorporated) to go bankrupt and it even considered closing the ferry. However, the continuing surge in the oil prices in the Philippines forced commuters to use alternative modes of transportation, including the ferry. From July 2008, the number of passengers increased 15% every week and almost all boats were full. This and other related events made the NTSI consider purchasing more boats to increase capacity as opposed to closing the line.[2]

Although there were still pollution-related problems, odor and garbage problems were not as bad as they were 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 remained.[3]

This service was also used by the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission to highlight the importance of the environment to the people of Manila. Lectures were conducted to 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).[4]

Planned reopening[edit]

The latest Pasig Ferry Service, operated by Nautical Transport Services Incorporated, is being planned to be reactivated by April 28, 2014[5] to alleviate the traffic situation in Metro Manila in light of the infrastructure projects being constructed simultaneously. The ferry service will be operated by Metro Manila Development Authority until a private investor takes over.[6]

The Ferry Network[edit]

Pasig River Ferry Service is located in Metro Manila
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Locations of the Pasig River Ferry Service stations; places of the numbers in relation to the markers denote if the station is at the north or south bank of the river.

The entire ferry network had 17 stations operational and 2 lines. The first line was the Pasig River Line which stretched from Plaza Mexico in Intramuros, Manila to Nagpayong station in Pasig City. The second line was the Marikina River Line which served the Guadalupe station in Makati City up to Santa Elena station in Marikina City.

The Marikina River Line was to begin operation with the opening of the Riverbanks Station near the recently opened SM City Marikina in Marikina City. The Marikina River Line as of 23 February 2009 was still closed and was still undergoing vehicular planning.

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 was done to maximize the efficiency of each boats and to reduce over-consumption of fuel.[7]

As of 23 February 2009, there are 17 operational ferry stations:

# Station Location
1 Plaza Mexico Intramuros, Manila
2 Escolta Binondo, Manila
3 Lawton Lawton, Ermita, Manila
4 Quiapo Quiapo, Manila
5 PUP (Polytechnic University of the Philippines) Santa Mesa, Manila
6 Santa Ana Santa Ana, Manila
7 Lambingan Punta, Santa Ana, Manila
8 Valenzuela Barangay Valenzuela, Makati City
9 Hulo Barangay Hulo, Mandaluyong City
10 Guadalupe Barangay Guadalupe Nuevo, Makati City
11 Pineda Barangay Pineda, Pasig City
12 San Joaquin Barangay San Joaquin, Pasig City
13 Bambang Barangay Bambang, Pasig City
14 Kalawaan Barangay Kalawaan Sur, Pasig City
15 Pinagbuhatan - Acasia Barangay Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City
16 Maybunga Barangay Maybunga, Pasig City
17 Nagpayong Barangay Pinagbuhatan, Pasig City

Facilities[edit]

Plaza Mexico is the westernmost station.

Boats[edit]

The system uses twin-hulled, double-engined, catamaran-type boats with a maximum seating capacity of 150 people. The boats are air-conditioned, equipped with radio, sound systems, a public address system and utilize fixed plastic chairs. There are rest rooms. These boats were constructed by the Nautical Transport Services, Incorporated and approved by the Maritime Industry Authority on December 10, 2006.

Specifications[8][edit]

  • Transit type: Water Bus
  • Structure type: Twin hulled (Catamarans)
  • Length: 23 meters long
  • Width: 7 meters long
  • Molded depth: 1.8 meters, draft 1.1 meter
  • Deck dimension: Passenger area 104 sq.meters
  • Outer deck: 22 sq.meters
  • FRF Main Engine: 2 Cummins QSM-11, 355 horsepower each
  • Marine gears and shafting (model&ratio): ZF 325 1A, 2.037 to 1 ratio, 2 -inch 316ss shaft.
  • Propeller dimension: 4 blade 30- inch propellers
  • Design Speed: 19 knots
  • Operational Speed: 10-12 knots
  • Fuel consumption: less than 30 liters for both engine per hour. (Operational speed)
  • Seating capacity: 150 passenger
  • Crew: 4
  • Tank Capacity: 2 x 1500 liters of fuel
  • Water: 2 x 1000 liters of water
  • Safety Feature: Equipped with 160 life jacket, Radio, Public Address System, Life rafts
  • Builder: SCC Nautical Transport Service Inc.
  • Boat Designer: Robert Cole
  • Cost: Php 15 Million (US$ 325,847.18)
  • Amenities: Air conditioned room, Music and High-Definition TV on board, Bar, and Separate comfort room

Stations[edit]

The stations are air-conditioned and provide rest or comfort rooms. Every station employs cashiers that sell tickets to passengers.

The ticketing system in some stations employ the paper tickets. However, some stations, especially the first 5 stations (Escolta, PUP Station, Santa Ana, Hulo and Guadalupe) employ the bar-coded tickets which are scanned by a bar-code reader in the turnstile.

Fares[edit]

There are four prices of tickets: a P25, P35, P45 and a P60 ticket. The Pasig River Ferry Service also provides discounts to student passengers. A P20 ticket is available for students regardless of distance traveled.

See also[edit]

References[edit]