A bicycle lane in Metro Manila (PNA courtesy)
MANILA — Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. and his running-mate Inday Sara Duterte will ensure the integration of protected bike lanes with the government’s future road plans after they win in the slated 2022 polls.
The move comes as the UniTeam bets affirm their commitment to providing alternative modes of transportation for Filipinos, whether for work or leisure.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the need to develop active transport as a practical and healthy alternative to existing modes. By including the provision of bike lanes in the planning and design of our roads, we ensure that our people have options to move around,” the UniTeam said.
According to polling firm Social Weather Stations (SWS), its May 2021 survey showed that 1 out of 5 Pinoy households owns bicycles — outnumbering car owners by a ratio of 4:1. The survey also revealed that there are 4.9 million bicycle owners in the country as of May 2021.
The SWS also noted that bicycle ownership increased from 8% in November 2020 to 20% in May 2021, mainly driven by the absence of public transport during lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The UniTeam also said that the strong clamor for completing the Metro Manila Bike Lane Network indicates the people’s desire for increased mobility.
“We are for the completion of the Manila Bike Lane Network, and we are also eyeing to roll-out a similar plan for other urban centers in the country. We need to encourage bicycle use as it’s practical and good exercise activity,” the UniTeam added.
Marcos and Inday Sara also vowed to complete the planned upgrade of the bike lanes from Class 1 to Class 2 to ensure that it has separators to provide added safety for cyclists and motorists.
“We need to ensure that these bike lanes are safe and in compliance with international standards. It will increase the people’s confidence to use bicycles as their preferred mode of transportation,” the UniTeam said.
The formidable duo also expressed confidence that having bike lanes as a fixture in Philippine roads would boost local tourism as more people are encouraged to visit nearby tourist destinations.
“We think that bicycle-riding tourists will be a boon for our local tourism. We have seen an increasing trend among Pinoys who use bikes to visit distant sites and well-known places. This will be good for our economic recovery,” the UniTeam stressed.
The UniTeam is also eyeing to give zero-interest loans to the poor who cannot afford a bicycle of their own.
“We are still looking into the possibility of offering zero-interest loans to the poor and the marginalized to allow more people to have a bicycle. This will be a crucial component of our vision of a seamless intermodal transport system in the country,” the UniTeam added. (ai/mtvn)