As pandemic regulations ease, Metro Manila streets are once again seeing the notorious daily traffic jams. Sure, it's reassuring to see how things are getting back to normal, but we doubt anyone misses the busy roads and lengthy queues at the EDSA Carousel as well as at the MRT stations. Speaking of EDSA Carousel, a return date for the Libreng Sakay (free rides) initiative has not yet been announced too.

Yet, the Pasig River Ferry Service (PRFS) offers a bright hope to our commuters. Operated by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), it is a public water bus service and currently the only water-based transportation service in Metro Manila. Because of its many stops, the service is essentially more like a water bus even though it is commonly referred to as a ferry.

The ferry cruises across several cities including Mandaluyong, Pasig, Makati, and Manila.

The Pasig River Ferry System has a fleet composed of 5 boats in operation, one having a capacity of 36 people, four with 52 people. It can transport passengers from Guadalupe to Manila in less than half the travel time by land or from 45 minutes to an hour.

The Lawton ferry station is convenient for students as well as tourists who want to visit historic sites like the National Museum or Intramuros. Lawton is also home to many schools and universities in the greater Manila area. It also makes a stop in Guadalupe for those heading to the hip BGC neighborhood.

Regarding safety, the PRFS is proud of its safety track record, having operated the boat without a single incident for the past nine years. Just in case, each watercraft also has life jackets on board.

Another great thing is that bicycles, including folding and full-size versions, are permitted on the Pasig River Ferry. This is good news to our fellow bikers who plan on touring around the metro.

Best of all, rides will remain free this 2023, said the MMDA in a recent announcement.

Plan your route ahead with Sakay! Download the Sakay.ph app for iPhone and Android!

Pasig River Ferry Stations

These are the terminals and their nearby landmarks:

  • Pinagbuhatan (Eusebio Avenue, Pinagbuhatan in Pasig City) – Near the Coast Guard Station at C6 Bridge.
  • Kalawaan (R. Castillo St. Brgy. Kalawaan Pasig, Metro Manila)
  • San Joaquin (San Bernardo Street, San Joaquin Pasig) – Near Sumilang and Bambang Bridge
  • Maybunga (Dr. Sixto Avenue, Pasig) – Beside Maybunga Barangay Hall
  • Guadalupe (J.P. Rizal Extension, Makati City) – Near MRT Guadalupe Station
  • Valenzuela (A. Bonifacio Street, Valenzuela Makati City) – Near Bonaventure Garden Homes, Riverside Studios and LTO Makati District Office.
  • Hulo (Coronado Street, Hulo, Mandaluyong City) – Near Parish of our Lady of Abandoned
  • Lambingan (F. Manalo Street, Punta Santa Ana, Manila) – In front of Tomas Earnshaw Elementary School
  • Sta. Ana (Pedro Gil Street, Sta. Ana, Manila City) – Near Sta. Ana Public Market and Liwasang F. Calde
  • PUP (Anonas Street, Sta. Mesa, Manila) – Beside the Philippine Coast Guard Station
  • Quinta (Carlos Palanca St., Quiapo, Manila) – Behind the Quinta Market, near the Quiapo Church
  • Lawton (Muelle Del Rio Street, Arroceros Manila) – Near the Quezon Bridge, Plaza Lawton and Post Office
  • Escolta (Muelle Del Rio Street, Intramuros, Manila City) – Behind the Bureau of Immigration

Pasig River Ferry Schedules

The PFRS operates from Monday to Saturday, daytime only.

DOWNSTREAM (PINAGBUHATAN TO ESCOLTA)

Pinagbuhatan Kalawaan San Joaquin Guadalupe Hulo Valenzuela Lambingan Sta. Ana P.U.P. Quinta Lawton Escolta
- - - 07:00 AM 07:05 AM 07:10 AM 07:20 AM 07:25 AM 07:40 AM 07:55 AM 07:57 AM 08:05 AM
07:00 AM 07:10 AM 07:15 AM 07:30 AM 07:35 AM 07:40 AM 07:50 AM 07:55 AM 08:07 AM 08:20 AM 08:22 AM 08:27 AM
07:30 AM 07:40 AM 07:45 AM 08:30 AM 08:35 AM 08:40 AM 08:43 AM 08:46 AM 08:58 AM 09:08 AM 09:10 AM 09:17 AM
08:30 AM 08:40 AM 08:45 AM 09:30 AM 09:35 AM 09:40 AM 09:43 AM 09:46 AM 09:59 AM 10:09 AM 10:11 AM 10:16 AM
09:30 AM 09:40 AM 09:45 AM 10:30 AM 10:35 AM 10:40 AM 10:45 AM 10:48 AM 11:02 AM 11:15 AM 11:17 AM 11:22 AM
11:00 AM 11:10 AM 11:15 AM 11:30 AM 11:35 AM 11:40 AM 11:50 AM 11:54 AM 12:10 PM 12:23 PM 12:25 PM 12:30 PM
- - - 12:30 PM 12:35 PM 12:40 PM 12:46 PM 12:48 PM 01:10 PM 01:23 PM 01:25 PM 01:30 PM
12:30 PM 12:40 PM 12:45 PM 01:30 PM 01:35 PM 01:40 PM 01:48 PM 01:51 PM 02:03 PM 02:15 PM 02:17 PM 02:22 PM
02:00 PM 02:10 PM 02:15 PM 02:30 PM 02:35 PM 02:40 PM 02:44 PM 02:48 PM 03:02 PM 03:13 PM 03:15 PM 03:20 PM
- - - 03:30 PM 03:35 PM 03:40 PM 03:49 PM 03:52 PM 04:06 PM 04:17 PM 04:19 PM 04:24 PM
04:00 PM 04:10 PM 04:15 PM 04:30 PM 04:35 PM 04:40 PM 04:45 PM 04:50 PM 05:02 PM 05:12 PM 05:14 PM 05:20 PM

UPSTREAM (ESCOLTA TO KALAWAAN)

Escolta Lawton Quinta PUP Sta.Ana Lambingan Valenzuela Hulo Guadalupe San Joaquin Kalawaan
08:15 AM 08:20 AM 08:22 AM 08:40 AM 08:55 AM 09:00 AM 09:10 AM 09:15 AM 09:20 AM 09:35 AM 09:30 AM
09:00 AM 09:05 AM 09:07 AM 09:26 AM 09:39 AM 09:42 AM 09:50 AM 09:56 AM 10:00 AM 10:15 AM 10:20 AM
10:00 AM 10:05 AM 10:07 AM 10:22 AM 10:31 AM 10:34 AM 10:42 AM 10:47 AM 10:52 AM 11:07 AM 11:12 AM
11:00 AM 11:05 AM 11:07 AM 11:26 AM 11:35 AM 11:38 AM 11:44 AM 11:49 AM 11:55 AM 12:10 PM 12:15 PM
12:00 PM 12:05 PM 12:07 PM 12:30 PM 12:40 PM 12:44 PM 12:52 PM 12:56 PM 01:00 PM 01:15 PM 01:20 PM
01:00 PM 01:05 PM 01:07 PM 01:22 PM 01:33 PM 01:36 PM 01:43 PM 01:00 PM 02:05 PM 02:20 PM 02:25 PM
02:00 PM 02:05 PM 02:07 PM 02:23 PM 02:35 PM 02:36 PM 02:43 PM 02:47 PM 02:52 PM 03:07 PM 03:15 PM
03:00 PM 03:05 PM 03:07 PM 03:21 PM 03:30 PM 03:34 PM 03:40 PM 03:47 PM 03:52 PM 04:07 PM 04:15 PM
04:00 PM 04:05 PM 04:07 PM 04:26 PM 04:37 PM 04:41 PM 04:50 PM 04:55 PM 05:00 PM 05:15 PM 05:20 PM
05:00 PM 05:05 PM 05:07 PM 05:29 PM 05:41 PM 05:44 PM 05:53 PM 05:56 PM 06:00 PM 06:15 PM 06:20 PM
05:30 PM 05:35 PM 05:37 PM 05:50 PM 06:00 PM 06:04 PM 06:09 PM 06:14 PM 06:20 PM 06:35 PM 06:40 PM
Guadalupe to Maybunga Maybunga to Guadalupe
08:00 AM 07:00 AM
10:00 AM 09:00 AM
12:00 PM 11:00 AM
02:00 PM 01:00 PM
04:00 PM 03:00 PM

Fare

The fare remains free of charge per MMDA.

Guidelines

Before Boarding:

  1. Show a valid identification 🆔card
  2. Wear your face mask 😷
  3. Undergo temperature check 🌡️
  4. Fill-in 📝 the boarding slip and passenger manifest. Here’s what it looks like:
The Boarding Slip also serves as your ticket.
Passenger Manifest is important as it identifies each individuals boarding and their destinations

5. Children age five years old and above, accompanied by a guardian, are allowed 👩‍👧

While Onboard

  1. Find out where the life jackets are stored. 🦺
  2. Remain seated throughout the journey. The crew will signal when it’s time to stand and disembark.
  3. No Littering. Do not throw your trash in the river. 🚮
  4. No smoking. 🚭
  5. No taking of photos or videos within the Malacañang Restricted Area. 🚫📸 (between P.U.P and Quinta Market)
  6. For PWD, seniors and pregnant women, inform the staff if you have special needs. 📣

Service Disruptions

  • For safety reasons, the PFRS may suspend its operations during a storm or other environmental disturbances. Always check the MMDA or PFRS Facebook Pages for any announcements.
  • If there are events (diplomatic meeting etc.) in the Malacañang area (between P.U.P. and Quinta market), the boat may get held up at the checkpoints by as much as 30 minutes.
  • The Valenzuela terminal (to be clear, its not in Valenzuela city but in Makati city) is not operational as of January 2023.

Our Experience

We had the opportunity to experience riding the Pasig river ferry. We’ve heard a lot about it, but we were still excited to finally experience it for ourselves. We cycled our way to Guadalupe station as we also wanted to try out onboarding a bike to the ferry.

First off, the station was equipped with air-conditioning, CCTV security and a television screen to entertain those waiting for their trip. There were clean restrooms as well as a handicap lift for the convenience of the passengers. We also observed the existence of bicycle racks beside the station.

Guadalupe terminal waiting area
Bike Racks are available beside the Guadalupe Station.
This handicap lift is great for accessibility of persons with disabilities.

We were supposed to leave for Escolta at 11:30AM but the ferry arrived earlier than scheduled and we were already on our way at exactly 11:15AM. This means to be safe, arrive at the station at least 20 minutes before the time stated in the timetable.

Safety vests are located above.

There is no air conditioning as the boats were open-air but we didn’t mind since there are mini electric fans scattered across.

We were surprised to discover that the water didn't smell unpleasant despite what we expected. Those with sensitive noses may need to keep their face mask on though.

We learned from a staff member that cleanup efforts are being done daily.

We were also able to bring one of our bikes onboard. The boat rear can accommodate a maximum of three bikes.

The boat is quite stable, nevertheless, putting a safety lock will ensure peace of mind.

Overall, the ferry ride was quite peaceful and scenic. It was a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. With the current situation of our transportation system, any alternative that would bring ease and comfort is very much welcome.

Other Inquiries

Contact MMDA Pasig River Ferry Service Facebook Page or call 8882-4151 loc. 136.

In conclusion, the Pasig River Ferry is a great transport alternative. With this guide, we hope you'll be able to make the most out of your journey. Have a ferry safe trip!

Sources: MMDA Pasig River Ferry Service, MMDA Website, GMA News, Philstar