The Department of Transportation (DOTr) trumpeted on Facebook Tuesday, Feb. 23 the availability of bike racks at different train stations in Metro Manila that cyclists could use for free–just bring your own padlock.
But somewhat expectedly, people who commented to this announcement from DOTr wondered about one thing: won’t our bikes get stolen if left unattended?
“Tuwang tuwa magnanakaw nyan. 🤪 (The theives will be thrilled),” wrote ER Dacanay.
“Lagyan ng CCTV, Maraming magnanakaw ng Bike ngayon (Installed closed-circuit television cameras. There are a lot of bike thieves nowadays),” suggested Reynato Escasinas.
The justification behind the DOTr bike rack project is that bicycle users who patronize rail lines such as the Light Rail Transit (LRT), Metro Rail Transit (MRT), and Philippine National Railways (PNR) could leave their bicycles at the stations before riding the trains.
“Hinihikayat ng DOTr at ng mga Rail Lines nito na gamitin ng ating mga commuter-bikers ang mga nasabing pasilidad, at pinapaalalahanan din ang mga pasahero na siguraduhing secured ang kanilang bike, sa pamamagitan ng paggamit ng mga personal at fully-secured na mga padlock (The DOTr and these Rail Lines are encouraging commuter-bikers to use these facilities, and at the same time we are reminding them to make sure that their bikes are fully-secured using their personal padlocks),” the DOTr’s Facebook post read.
To this, Leon Garcia Salisi commented, “Nawa may nababantay sa bike racks din… o kaya dapat may tag number binibigay kapag magpark ng bike… para safety talaga… at di mangamba mga rider kapag iniiwan un mga bike nila (Someone should guard the racks too. Or maybe a tag number could be given to those who park their bikes to really ensure safety. This will ease the rider’s fears whenever they leave their bikes).”
“Non sense yan kahit may lock. Kung magaling din yung mag nenenok (No sense in doing that even if there lock, if the thieves are good at stealing),” wrote Doms Ecol.
Mateo Mathias, for his part, said it would be a better idea for authorities to think of a way to allow cyclists to bring their bikes inside the train during the travel itself. “Mas malaking tulong po un (That would be a bigger help),” he noted.
Not everybody was a “negation”, though. Rey Aspa reckoned that the project is a huge boon to bikers and even compared it to an already existing system for commuters in Japan.
“Sa Japan ganito ang ginagawa. Sa ilalim ng elevated station may hagdanan pababa at doon iniiwan ng commuters ang mga bike. May bantay na security at may fence din para di mawaala. Mainam kung gagawin din yan sa atin (This is how they do it in Japan. Commuters leave their bikes under the elevated station. There is a security guard and fence for the bikes. It would be great if we do this too),” he said.