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Manila – 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. In connection with this, the Institute for Labor Studies (ILS) has conducted a perception survey from July 29 until August 2 focusing on the use of bicycle as a transport option for Filipino workers.

The preliminary results were presented to DOLE Senior Officials last August 7 via an online meeting to discuss possible projects and policy recommendations. The survey is part of DOLE’s Bike-to-Work Project, which aims to assist workers in this time of pandemic by providing bicycle as a transport option or a livelihood opportunity.

The survey yielded a total of 1,119 respondents, with majority of them coming from the National Capital Region (NCR). Most of the respondents are bike owners (total of 865), where 33% of them are members of a cycling club or bicycle advocacy group. According to the respondents, the significant health benefits of bicycling is the primary reason for them getting into bicycling (85%). This is followed by biking as a mode of transport to get to work (82%) in relation to the pandemic and limited transportation. For those who have used a bicycle for the last 6 months (813 respondents), more than half or 58% said that their bike trips were for traveling to and from work. It was also noted that those who have used a bike to work increased after the declaration of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ).

Respondents were also asked for their desired improvements in bicycling commuting. Majority are in favor of having more bike lanes on paved roads, for bike paths and more secured bike parking. The presence of bike lanes and their safety on road are also among the foremost concerns of bike riders. Respondents said that what prevents them from using the bike is because of the following reasons: 1) they do not feel safe traveling in the road; 2) poor road conditions; and 3) lack of secured bike parking or storage facility and facilities (ex. shower or change rooms). Despite these concerns, 78% of the total respondents answered that they would still use bicycles in going to work, even if there were other accessible forms of transportation.