The government has been keen on redesigning our mass transport system, and the Public Utility Vehicle Modernization Program is the prime evidence of that. But aside from the traditional trains, buses, and jeepneys, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is also looking for other alternatives to public transport as well, just like the ‘water jeepneys’ you see in the photos here.
These are the official vehicles of the Cavite-Manila Ferry service, which was recently inaugurated by the DOTr together with the Maritime Industry Authority, the Philippine Ports Authority, and the Philippine Coast Guard. Through this ferry service, passengers may get from the Cultural Center of the Philippines to the Cavite City Port Terminal (CCPT) and vice versa in just 15 to 20 minutes. Travel time from CCPT to the Liwasang Bonifacio Terminal is estimated to be around 40 to 45 minutes.
At the moment, there are two operational vessels: MV Island Sabtang from Shogun Ships Company, and MB Seaborne Mercury from Seaborne Shipping Company. The former can carry up to 57 passengers, while the seating capacity of the latter is set at 27. The DOTr has announced that rides will be free for a month, or starting on the first day, December 9, January 9. As a bonus, free rides for the MV Island Sabtang have been extended until January 31.
“Ibabalik po natin ang efficiency ng mass public transportation system. Sinabi ni mayor [Bernardo Paredes of Cavite City] kanina, apat na oras [ang biyahe]. Ngayon, sumakay po kami galing po ng MOA (Mall of Asia), 15 minutes lang andito na po kami sa Cavite. Tinatawagan ko yung driver, hindi pa dumarating,” said House Committee on Transportation chairman Edgar Sarmiento.
The DOTr expects to add up to three more vessels for the ferry service within the coming month.
So, Caviteños, what do you think? Will you be trying these Water Jeepneys out?