Cyclist-solon encourages MRT riders to ride bikes to work instead

Published May 31, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Charissa Luci-Atienza

Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) Party-list Rep. Jericho Nograles encouraged Metro Rail Transit (MRT) riders on Sunday (May 31) to turn to bicycles as a health-and-economic friendly mode of transportation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rep. Jericho Nograles (Koko Nograles Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Rep. Jericho Nograles
(Koko Nograles Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

He said as the safety of cyclists remains a concern, the House of Representatives is flexing its muscles to come up with a national policy promoting the use of bicycles and a “safe biking culture” in the country.

Nograles, a cyclist, said the maximum speed of a bicycle is 30 kilometers per hour, while the maximum speed of MRT on EDSA ranges from nine to 15 kilometers per hour.

“So it is a good alternative for MRT users, lalo ngayon sa panahon ng COVID-19, na ‘yung mga MRT users imbes na mag-antay at pumila para pumasok sa limited space sa MRT, sa isang mabagal na MRT, eh kung ibinike na lang nila sa EDSA eh. Kaya na nilang maabot ‘yung destination nila na mas mabilis pa sa MRT. You save a lot of time, you even save money (So it is a good alternative for MRT users especially now during this time of COVID-19, that our MRT users, instead of waiting and queuing to enter the limited space of MRT, for a slow moving MRT, what if they just use bicycles along EDSA. They can reach their destination faster than the MRT. You save a lot of time, you even save money.),” Nograles said in a radio interview.

Nograles is the principal author of House Bill No. 2520, which seeks the creation of the Local Bikeways Office (LBO) and establishment of infrastructure to promote the use of bicycles. His bill is among the nine pro-bicycle measures approved by the House committee on transportation in a virtual hearing last Thursday.

The party-list lawmaker cited the need to set up protected bike lanes along major thoroughfares such as EDSA to ensure the safety of bicycle riders.

“Ang number one problem is safe ba? Ang litmus test natin na safe na mag-bike kung masasabi mo sa anak mo, ‘Sige anak, magbike ka na papuntang school.’ ‘Yun talaga, ‘yun ang gusto natin na maabot na it is safe for children to bike all the way to school. Pag naabot po natin yan, then I think we have successfully created a safe biking culture sa ating bansa (The number one problem is, is it safe? Our limit test here is, it is safe to bike when you can tell your child, ‘Yes, child, you can ride your bike to school.’ That’s what we want to reach, that it be safe for children to bike all the way to school. Once we reach that, then I think we have successfully created a safe biking culture in our country),” Nograles said.

He added that in addition to the protected bike lanes, employers should designate shower and locker rooms for their employees who are bicycle riders.

“Ito po ay isang alternatibo na (This is an alternative) mode of transportation that promotes health and conserve the environment,” he said.

“Imagine mo, makakapunta ka sa trabaho na hindi ka magaalala sa (you can go to work without worrying about) public transportation, tapos (and then) you maintain your heath, you maintain your social distance,” he added.

He said he is optimistic that within this year, the consolidated bill seeking to promoting the use of bicycles will be passed by both Houses of Congress and enacted into law.

 
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