26 July 2013
Sen. Pia: ‘Yes to walking, biking but let’s make it safe and accessible’
Senator Pia S. Cayetano today backed government’s efforts to address traffic congestion in Metro Manila, even as she pushed for an alternative approach to the problem, like making the metropolis friendlier for those who would choose to walk or bike to get to their destination.
“I support government efforts to ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila. I think it is laudable that we are now talking more about walking and biking as serious alternative modes of transportation. But to truly encourage people to do so, we must provide the infrastructures that will make walking and biking safe, accessible and convenient,” said Cayetano.
These proposals are contained in Cayetano’s Senate Bill No. (SBN) 26, the ‘Sustainable Transportation Act of 2013,’ which seeks to address the traffic situation, pollution and quality of time lost due to traffic by promoting alternative and sustainable modes of public transportation.
She said the infrastructures would include more bicycle lanes and covered walkways and footbridges, given weather conditions such as heavy rains, to make biking and walking safe and appealing to the public, as well as the revival of the river ferry system through possible public-private partnerships.
Other proposals under SBN 26 include the establishment of a Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) and alternative vehicle reduction schemes that encourage car-pooling and telecommuting (working from home).
“As things stand, our MRT and LRT coaches are not enough to accommodate the millions of passengers who take these trains every day, while EDSA won’t get any wider to accommodate an ever increasing volume of vehicles. To compound all these, gasoline prices will keep going up and add more pressure to raise transport fares in jeeps, buses and taxis and further burden the public.”
“Our choices are getting narrower. In the meantime, traffic is estimated to cost our country P2.4 billion in lost economic opportunities every day. It is high time to pursue alternatives and come up with a national sustainable transportation plan.” #
File photo: Using a foldabike, Sen. Pia Cayetano tries the ‘Bike on, bike off’ program of the LRT at its launching in November, 2009.