CEBU CITY - Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Arthur P. Tugade marked his second-day visit to Cebu with another back-to-back activity as he led the inspection of bike lane networks in Cebu City and the launch of the Free Ride Service Program for Health Workers and essential workers identified as Authorized Persons Outside their Residences (APORs).
*_Metro Cebu bike lane network_*
Secretary Tugade, along with other transport and government officials first inspected the SRP road section of the Metro Cebu bike lane network – a joint project of the DOTr Road Transport Sector and Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).
The SRP section is a Class I bike lane, which is 5 meters wide and spans around 2.3 kilometers. It also features a 3-kilometer pedestrian sidewalk that is separated from the bike lane, a shed for bike racks and benches, and solar studs that light up during nighttime to guide bikers for their safety and convenience. Additionally, the section also has planters for the provision of greeneries and trees that will be planted along the bike path to give cyclists a comfortable ride.
Currently, the Metro Cebu bike lane network project has an overall progress rate of 63.96% covering 88.84 kilometers accomplished. The bike lane project's overall network length is 138.90 kilometers and traverses four (4) key cities: Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Cebu City, and Talisay.
In his message before the ceremonial bike ride, Secretary Tugade expressed his gratitude to Cebuanos and for the cooperation and support of other concerned agencies for the continuous creation of bike lanes, which will boost the promotion of active transportation in the country. He also reminded bikers to observe minimum health standards while on the road.
“Ang proyektong ito ay patunay na tuloy-tuloy ang ating pagtatayo ng mga pasilidad upang mabigyang importansya ang active transport system para sa ating mga kababayan,” Secretary Tugade said.
"Ang paulit-ulit na binigay na direktiba po ni Secretary Tugade ay siguraduhin na maging ligtas at dire-diretso ang bike lanes natin upang magamit ng bawat isa dito sa Cebu. Hindi upang magamit bilang leisure lang po kung hindi ay magamit din sa pang araw-araw – papunta sa trabaho o papunta sa kaniya-kaniyang destinasyon," DOTr Assistant Secretary for Road Transport Mark Steven Pastor added.
For his part, DPWH VII Regional Director Edgar Tabacon commended Secretary Tugade and the entire DOTr for the much-needed establishment of the bike lane network in Metro Cebu.
"The bike lane [network] has been a long dream of our people. Not only is biking the cheapest in the market but also [for] the health benefits it can give. This is not only for recreational purposes, but [for] going to our work as well," RD Tabacon said.
"Sir, on behalf of Region VII, we would like to thank you, [together] with all the workforce of the DOTr. Thank you for giving us this project," he added.
*_‘Libreng Sakay’ for Health Workers, APORs_*
Shortly after the inspection of the bike lanes, Secretary Tugade led the launch of the Free Ride Service Program for Health Workers and Authorized Persons Outside Residences (APORs), under the Service Contracting Program of the DOTr and the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB.)
The Free Ride program, which was initially rolled out in Metro Manila and has since expanded nationwide, is in line with the directive of Secretary Tugade to help essential workers in their commuting needs and somehow ease their financial burden amid the pandemic.
During the launch, Secretary met with the drivers participating in the Free Ride program to thank them for their service.
“Libre ito para sa mga pasahero. ‘Wag kayong maniningil ha,” Secretary Tugade reminded drivers.
For drivers joining the Free Ride Service Program for Health Workers and APORs, the DOTr and LTFRB increased the per kilometer fee from PhP46.80 to PhP82.50 for buses; and from PhP46.80 to PhP52.50 for jeepneys and other PUJ modes of Transport in the regions.
In addition, under the Service Contracting Program, financial incentives are given to participating drivers who are already onboarded apart from payment to them for the kilometer run they made.
"Naglabas kami recently para ma-enganyo sila pumasok at mag onboard sa system. P25,000 po ang binigay natin insentibo sa bawat driver na pumasok simula noong nakaraang taon hanggang April 30. ‘Yung papasok po starting May 1 hanggang June 15, P20,000 po ang ibibigay bawat isa,” LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra said.
DOTr Press Release
06 May 2021