Cherry ferry boats run as usual for convenience of commuters

Yangon (Pansodan-Dala) ferry boat service is the only transport option for the local people from Southern Yangon—Dala, Twantay, Kawhmu and Kungyangon townships to link with the commercial hub Yangon. The number of passengers has been dropping significantly since the outbreak of COVID-19. Cherry ferry boats are operating as usual for the convenience of the passengers, according to the Inland Water Transport (IWT) (Delta Division).
“Earlier, the Pansodan-Dala ferries were daily packed with over 30,000 commuters. After COVID-19, the declining number of ferry commuters rendered the ferries running less frequently. However, the ferry service has not stopped for the convenience of the passengers. During the Thingyan festival, the ferries will be running daily with a new schedule,” said U Hla Win Naing, the assistant general manager from IWT Delta Division.
The cherry ferries transported about 5,233 commuters on 19 March, 3,771 commuters on 20 March and 4,025 commuters on 21 March.
Although the number of passengers has declined recently, the ferries provide their transport services with 35 routes on weekdays and 22 routes on weekends for the passengers. Besides, the Yangon River is yearly covered with fog in March. So, the ferries have to wait until the vision is clear.
Before the pandemic outbreak, the ferry service has been running 46 times a day between 5:30 am and 9:30 pm for over 30,000 commuters approximately. The ferry service is also generating an income of over K3 million daily.
Cherry boats allow the monks and nuns to ride free of charge. The ferries collect only K 100 per local passenger and K 4,000 per foreigner passenger.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) donated and handed over the three cherry ferries, passengers’ W/Cs and two jetties in Dala Port on 15 November 2014. It is one of the crowded places in the city. — Naing Lin Kyaw (IPRD)/GNLM

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