汽車通行量限制生效! 菲律賓掀「自行車」通勤熱潮 | The unlikely resurgence of bicycles in Philippines

【看CP學英文】新冠病毒肆虐,菲律賓政府頒布政策限制道路車輛通行量,因而掀起一股自行車熱潮。許多大眾,尤其是通勤族,轉而以自行車作為日常通勤的交通工具。

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, an old mode of transportation — the bicycle — is making a comeback. This resurgence in bike-riders is propelled by the Filipino government’s limit on the number of passengers on the bus and the train. Flocks of citizens, especially commuters, have resorted to pedaling in order to continue their daily journeys.

然而這股「自行車通勤」熱潮仍不能解決菲律賓交通壅塞問題,許多人仍認為腳踏車稱不上是交通工具,僅能作為平時的「休閒娛樂」。因此,摩托車和汽車數量導致全國各地交通運輸不堪重負。

There is a caveat; however, the biking culture in the Philippines is stifled at best. The majority regards the two-wheeled vehicle as a toy, a mere entertainment for children, instead of a normal means of transportation.

菲律賓在二十世紀時,道路基礎建設設計考量主要對象是車輛,因當初考量不周全,才造成現今菲律賓交通紊亂問題。

As a result of the Philipines’ hasty industrialization in the twentieth century, city infrastructures are primarily designed for cars, which in turn have overwhelmed the transportation system across the country.

更亟需被關注的是,由於菲律賓目前缺乏建設自行車專用道的資金,因此自行車難以成為大眾主要通勤工具;僅能在颱風、洪水來臨時作為應急替代方案。

Crucially, the lack of development and funding for bicycle lanes and favorable cycling paths have rendered cycling as an inaccessible transport medium in normal times. Whereas during a natural disaster such as a typhoon or flood, the bike becomes a form of emergency management.

為緩解交通堵塞,支持自行車成為主要通勤媒介的倡導者,正努力推廣騎自行車的好處,例如捐二手自行車給學校孩童,希望致力於自行車普及率的同時也推動國家發展。

Advocates of bicycles such as “Bike for the Philipines,” an organization donating second-handed bicycles to school-children, are busy promoting this underestimated vehicle as a source of relief in the midst of the pandemic. They hope to pedal the country forward through the acceptance of bicycles, one revolution at a time.

正如自行車兼道路安全倡議者米婭·布諾(Mia Buno)所說:「當所有交通工具系統故障時,自行車這種最簡單的二輪驅動工具就成為唯一的交通選擇。」自行車是如今菲律賓深陷疫情危機,維繫經濟活力的支柱之一。

As Mia Buno, biking and road safety advocate encapsulates, “when all systems fail, the bicycle is basically your lifeline,” the bike is keeping the country’s economy alive even in this formidable crisis.