New norm: Bike to work

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MORE workers in Metro Manila are now using bicycles to go to work, according to a latest study by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

In its latest survey, DOLE’s Institute of Labor Studies (ILS) noted the number of workers who bike to and from work increased after the imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) last March because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“For those who have used a bicycle for the last six months [813 respondents], more than half or 58 percent said that their bike trips were for traveling to and from work,” DOLE said in a statement.

The ILS survey included 1,119 respondents mostly from the National Capital Region (NCR).

Of the said participants, 856 were bike owners. Most of them cited health benefits of cycling (85 percent) and concerns about the safety of taking public utility vehicles (82 percent) as the main reason why they opted to use bikes.

The bikers, however, expressed concern over their safety on the road, poor road conditions; and lack of secured bike parking or storage facility and facilities in their workplace—shower or change rooms.

But even with these concerns, 78 percent of the total respondents said they will still continue to bike to work.

“With Covid-19 keeping most commuters away from public transport, the use of bicycle has emerged as a safe and convenient alternative mode of transport,” ILS Executive Director Ahmma Charisma Lobrin-Satumba said.

ILS conducted the survey to come out with policy recommendations of using bicycles as a transport option or a livelihood opportunity during the pandemic.

Image credits: Nonie Reyes



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