Marina: Metro traffic to worsen; invest in ferry services

Rappler.com
The Marina Industry Authority tells ship owners and operators it's 'time to closely consider making an investment in the business of ferrying passengers'

BRING IT BACK. In this file photo, a family looks the river banks while on a ferry boat travelling along the Pasig River. The ferry service was shut down in 2011 due to losses. File photo by Noel Celis/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The Maritime Industry Authority (Marina) on Wednesday, February 19, backed calls to re-open the Pasig river ferry system as a solution to Metro Manila’s traffic woes.

Speaking to members of the Philippine Ship Agents Association (PSAA), Marina Deputy Administrator Nicasio Conti said it was “time to closely consider making an investment in the business of ferrying passengers.”

“With the expected monstrous traffic jam along EDSA and key cities, and the MRT like blockbuster film with its long lines, why not take an alternative – the ferry?” he added.

A series of road work projects from 2014 to 2016 is expected to cause heavier than usual traffic in the Metro. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Senator Ralph Recto have both suggested reviving the ferry system, which closed down in 2011 due to losses.

Learning from the mistakes of the failed Pasig river ferry system, Conti suggested that PSAA members invest in small ships that can take shorter trips, instead of bigger vessels that take longer to be filled out.

PSAA president Virgilio Angeles, meanwhile said groups and individuals have expressed interest in helping revive the Pasig river ferry system. Earlier, Senator Recto urged government to take the lead in reviving the ferry system.

Conti said it would be best for government and the private sector to work hand in hand. – Rappler.com