With public transport still limited under general community quarantine (GCQ) and commuters resorting to the use of bicycles, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) has started installing bicycle racks at the stations of the Light Rail Transit (LRT)-1, LRT-2, Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-3 and the Philippine National Railways (PNR).
The free racks should encourage the use of bicycles as an active transport mode while quarantine measures are being enforced and help biker-commuters transfer from one transportation mode to another.
“I fully support the establishment of the bike lanes as this active transport mode promotes a healthy lifestyle and clean environment,” remarked DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade.
“We will make this protected to ensure the safety of our cyclists. As a form of assistance to them, we have initially installed bike racks in various railway stations in Metro Manila.”
The installation of free bike racks will “definitely be replicated in other public transport terminals across the country,” he pledged.
Already, the DOTr, in cooperation with the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), is fast-tracking the creation of bicycle lanes along EDSA to maximize road space use and ensure the safety of cyclists.
At the LRT-1 line, bicycle racks where cyclists can properly park their bicycles before getting onboard trains, have been installed at the Central, Libertad stations, EDSA Taft.
Another will soon be ready for use at Baclaran station.
Use of the bike racks is free of charge but cyclists have to bring their own padlocks.
The rail line also has bike racks at its depot for employees.
At the LRT-2, bicycle racks have been installed for use by cyclists at the Legarda station.
The Light Rail Transit Authority (LRTA) is also setting up racks at the Pureza, V. Mapa, J. Ruiz, Gilmore, and Betty Go-Belmonte stations.
Bicycle Racks will be available for the remaining stations of Line2 within the next two weeks, according to LRTA Deputy Administrator Paul Chua.
Bicycle owners may park their bikes at the bike racks from 5:00 am until 8:00 pm only.
However, they can claim their bicycles until the close of operations at 10:00 pm.
Roving security personnel will conduct periodic foot patrol and ocular inspection of the bicycle rack to check for damage, vandalism, and for added security presence.
The LRT-2 management, however, reminds cyclists to make sure that their bikes are secured with their personal padlocks.
No personal belongings such as bags or carry-ons should be left with the bicycle while parked at the rack, as the LRTA or its contracted security personnel will not be liable for stolen or damaged bicycles.
Commuters on the MRT-3 line may pedal to stations and park their bikes there before boarding trains, as the line’s management expects to complete the installation of 34 bike racks at its stations from North Avenue to Taft Avenue for both the northbound and southbound sides.
One bike rack can accommodate five bicycles.
Installation of the bike racks at the MRT-3 stations started on June 22, with its North Avenue, Quezon Avenue and GMA Kamuning stations now having one street-level bike rack each on the northbound side.
As with the LRT-1 and LRT-2, the MRT-3 management also reminds cyclists to be mindful of their bike’s security and to refrain from leaving valuables while using the free bike racks at the stations.
The MRT-3 management will not be responsible for any loss or damage. Bike owners can use the free bike racks at the MRT-3 stations during revenue operation hours.
“MRT-3 will continue to add more bike racks in the weeks to come,” MRT-3 Director for Operations Mike Capati announced.
For its part, the Philippine National Railways (PNR) has also installed bike racks at its Tutuban station, while installation at other stations is ongoing.
Bike parking is for free but cyclists have to provide their own padlock. Claiming of bikes is within operating hours.
“PNR clearly recognizes that bicycles are means of our commuters to cover the last mile, we only wish to lighten the burden of our riders,” noted PNR General Manager Junn Magno. Cyclists are also allowed to bring their folded bicycles inside the train car with a fare from origin to destination equivalent to one person, and subject to disinfection.