MANILA - Bike lane routes in the country should be included in the navigation app Google Maps to help cyclists in their commutes, the Department of Transportation said Thursday.
In a statement, the agency said Transport Secretary Art Tugade has been coordinating with Google for the project.
“This will be a very good innovation for Google Maps considering that many Filipinos now are riding bikes as their main mode of transportation which brings significant health and environmental benefits especially amid the pandemic,” Tugade said.
Tugade said Google has yet to approve the proposal but he is confident that the request would be granted.
“We have asked Google to consider this suggestion [as] top priority considering the increasing number of Filipino cyclists. We are confident that we can win their support on this,” said Tugade.
In a separate statement, Google said it would always help people navigate.
"Google will continue to work closely with the Department of Transportation to explore ways to make the map even more helpful for Filipinos,” a Google spokesperson said.
Bicycles were promoted as a mode of public transport during the COVID-19 pandemic when other mobility modes were shut.
Local governments were also prompted to develop dedicated bike lanes for commuters' safety.
The DOTr said it has completed a 500-kilometer bike lane network in key cities across the country or 313.12 kilometers in Metro Manila, 129.47 kilometers in Metro Cebu and 54.74 kilometers in Metro Davao.
Bike lanes are equipped with pavement markings, physical separators, solar-powered road studs, thermoplastic paint and road signages, among others, the DOTr said.
Bike lane projects were funded under the country's coronavirus response law also known as the Bayanihan to Recover As One Act.