DOTR eyes alternative transport modes like bikes under post-quarantine

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 30) – The Department of Transportation (DOTr) suggested on Thursday the use of alternative forms of transportation after the COVID-19 quarantine in the country

Transportation Undersecretary Artemio Tuazon cited the usage of bikes and modernized jeepneys in post-pandemic period, as these transport modes lessen human contact and reduce the risk of the virus among passengers.

Tuazon added that bicycles are one-passenger vehicles, thus the transmission of the disease can be contained because there is less contact with other people.

On the issue of safety among bikers, Tuazon said the transportation department is working on designated bike lanes in major roads in the country.

“The Department of Transportation already has initiatives for green ways which we will be pursuing," he said. "There will be lanes in areas where there are enough space for designated bike lanes."

Tuazon also clarified that using modernized jeepneys post-quarantine does not mean the old jeepneys will be phased out of the roads.

“Initially, we will be using the modernized jeeps," he explained. "If the quantity is not enough to service the population of the riding public, then we will go back to using the older jeeps."

Tuazon pointed out that older jeepneys must be in good condition before they are allowed to serve the commuters.

Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año excluded jeepneys in the partial operations of public utility vehicles in areas placed under general community quarantine.

"Iyong jeepney, hindi pa pinapayagan kasi makikita niyo iyong configuration ng jeepney, magkakaharap ang mga tao diyan," said Año in the Palace briefing earlier today.

[Translation: Jeepneys are still not allowed because if you look at its configuration, passengers are facing each other]

Meanwhile, Tuazon reminded travelers entering the country that they will be tested for the virus upon arrival at airports. The DOTr said it prefers rapid testing method.

Tuazon disclosed that the International Air Travel Association is still drafting guidelines on the observation of physical distancing inside airplanes.

The enhanced community quarantine is extended up to May 15 in Metro Manila, Central Luzon, and CALABARZON regions. The provinces of Pangasinan, Benguet, Iloilo, and Cebu are also covered by the quarantine extension.