By Jhon Aldrin Casinas
Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto has urged the public to consider biking as an alternative mode of transportation as part of the “new normal” in commuting.
With Metro Manila now under general community quarantine (GCQ), some means of public transport such as trains, select buses, taxis, and tricycles were allowed to resume operations.
But these would still not be enough to ferry daily commuters to their destinations for such mobility options could only operate at 50 percent capacity.
“We are encouraging everyone to bike,” Sotto said in a Facebook live on Sunday afternoon.
“We’re promoting bicycle riding and other alternative forms of transportation dahil alam po natin kung gaano ka traffic dito sa Pasig (because we know how much traffic we have here in Pasig),” he added.
Public mass transport in Metro Manila was suspended for almost three months after President Duterte placed Luzon under enhanced community quarantine.
According to Sotto, the quarantine has proven that bike riding is possible in the country.
“Ngayong quarantine, napatunayan natin na ang bike riding pwede dito sa Pilipinas kahit mainit (This quarantine, we have proven that bike riding is possible here in the Philippines even if it’s hot),” he said.
“Bike riding works kahit sa maiinit na lugar (even in warm places),” he added.
In the early days of the Luzon lockdown, the Pasig City government declared biking as an essential form of transportation.
The local government placed traffic cones and barriers along the outermost lane of select streets in the city to serve as a bike lane.
During the lockdown, Pasig City has also provided frontliners with bicycles that they could use to get to their workplaces.
“Sana hanggang matapos yung quarantine ipagpatuloy nila ‘yung habit ng pag bike to and from work (Hopefully until the quarantine is over, they will continue their habit of biking to and from work),” Sotto said.
“Kasama na ‘to sa new normal natin (This is now part of our new normal),” he added.