Bike to work: Rising gas prices drive interest in pedal power

Zandro Ochona, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 16 2022 07:40 PM

MMDA Bike Lane Program Officers (BLPO) park their bikes during the inauguration of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) motorcycle and bike repair station along EDSA in Quezon City on June 16, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News
MMDA Bike Lane Program Officers (BLPO) park their bikes during the inauguration of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) motorcycle and bike repair station along EDSA in Quezon City on June 16, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

 

MANILA — As petroleum prices continue to soar, Filipinos are seeking ways to curb their gas consumption.

"Jonathan", who works in Ortigas, said he would leave his car at his Marikina home and bike to his office starting next week. 

Before tight energy supply and rising demand pushed up gas prices, Jonathan said he spent around P1,000 for a full tank of gas. He now spends P2,500 to P3,000 for gas and P200 for parking.

"Sa ngayon magba-bike na lang ako hangga’t maaari. Kung malapit lang hindi ko na dadalhin yung sasakyan, lalakarin o magbibisikleta na lang,” said Jonathan, who works onsite thrice weekly. 

(I will just bike as much as possible. I won't drive anymore, I will just walk or bike.) 

"Yung bike kasi wala siyang bayad, for free yung parking so malaking tipid na rin kahit P200 per day, plus yung gas na hindi natin kailangan,” he said.

(With the bike, parking is free, so I'd save a lot, P200 per day, plus we no longer need gas.) 

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But riding his bicycle to work could also bring inconvenience.

"Yung pawis no siyempre magba-bike ka papawisan kailangan din namin ng shower pagdating namin doon sa office...kailangan mo pa ring umalis ng maaga para hindi pa masyado mainit at hindi pa marami yung volume ng sasakyan,” Jonathan said.

(Of course, you'll sweat, sometimes we need to shower at the office. You also need to leave early so it's not yet that hot and there won't be a lot of cars yet.) 

And bicycles can break down, too.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority on Thursday opened a bicycle and motorcycle repair station along EDSA. 

“Yung mga tools po natin naghanda, may pang vulcanize din sakali ma-flat-an. Ito po ay libre, walang kailangan bayaran. Maglalagay po tayo ng tao na trained para magassist sa mga nagbibiskleta at nagmomotor," said MMDA Chairman Romando Artes.

“Soon ieexpand po natin ito. magha-hire tayo ng mekaniko para sa mga sasakyan na talaga,” he added. 

(Our tools have been prepared, there's a vulcanizing equipment. This is free. We will also deploy trained personnel who can assist bikers and motorcycle riders.) 

Senator-elect JV Ejercito earlier this week said he expected more people to use bikes due to rising gas prices. 

"Nananawagan po tayo ng mas ligtas at mas maayos na bike lanes sa ating mga lungsod at munisipyo," he said on Twitter on Wednesday. "Hindi lang po para sa mga nagmamameho ng sasakyan at trak ang ating mga kalsada, kasama din po ang mga katulad natin na nagbibisikleta." 

(We appeal for safer and better bike lanes in our cities and towns. Our roads are not just for those who drive cars and trucks, they're also for bike riders like us.) 

MMDA's Artes allayed fears on bicycle riders’ safety along EDSA. 

“Bike lanes, wala masyadong naitatalang accident, minimal lang.
Marami naaksidente pero hindi nairerecord dahil kalimitan pa mga self accident very minimal naman at minor accidents lamang,” he said.

“Sa e-scooter, last year 380 plus accident, ngayon naman nasa 80 plus accidents sa e-scooter this year,” continued the official. 

(There are few accidents on bike lanes. Most accidents go unrecorded because these are very minimal and only minor. For e-scooters, there were 380 plus accidents last year, there were 80 so far this year.) 
 
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