Given the woeful state of traffic, rising costs of fuel, and never-ending lines at MRT and bus stations, moving in, out, and around Metro Manila has become something of an obstacle course.
A lot of commuters have turned to cycling as alternative transport, but available bike lanes could still use a lot of improvement — not to mention, the amount of education motortists need.
But there's a little-known alternative transportation option that should become a bright spot of hope for Metro Manila residents and commuters: the Pasig River Ferry Service.
There's no traffic, there's no pollution, it's safe, and best of all, it's free.
According to a report by Ivan Mayrina on Unang Hirit Friday, the Pasig River Ferry Service can traverse from the Pinagbuhatan Station in Pasig all the way to Escolta in Manila in just one hour and 15 minutes.
There are 10 other stops in various cities in Metro Manila including Mandaluyong and Makati, making it super convenient.
It has a stop near P.U.P., which is great for students; the Quinta Market station, if you're going to hear mass at Quiapo, and Guadalupe if you're headed to the trendy BGC area from Manila.
The Pasig River Ferry Service's first trip is at 7am in Pinagbuhatan and the last trip is at 6pm from Escolta.
According to Irene Navera, the central administrative officer of the Pasig River Ferry Service, the alternative transport has been free of charge since 2019.
There is still no news about whether or not they will start charging so pro-tip: Enjoy it now while it's still free.
If you're wondering about safety, Navera proudly says all their captains are licensed. She points to life vests that each vessel carries, just in case. "We've been running the ferry service for 9 years now and there hasn't been any incident," Navera added.
Another great thing about the Pasig River Ferry Service? The accessibility to natural elements, which we don't often get in the big, bad, gray city. At any given stop, there are unusual birds for you to admire. When you take the service after work, you get to see the beautiful sunset right on the water.
If you're wondering if the river has a smell, no it does not.
Each trip has a carrying capacity of 51 passengers and Ivan's UH report shows how underutilized the ferry service has been.
If you wish to try the Pasig River Ferry Service — and we suggest you do — don't forget to bring a face mask and a valid I.D. Children below 5 years old are not allowed. — LA, GMA News