Answer to lack of public transport: Not second-hand cars but bikes – expert


Commuters should be looking at bicycles instead of used cars amid the lack of public transportation, the country’s expert on mobility said.

Agreeing to reports that used car sales are expected to rise sharply due to the Covid-19 pandemic, transport consultant Robert Siy said public transport capacity has been severely reduced because of the new seating capacity limits.

He said people will not be able to get rides on their usual public transport services.

“In this situation, the top priority should be to create safe corridors for walking and cycling in all Philippine cities,” Siy said.

Siy pointed out that bike lanes on major roads, including EDSA, make sense because they will offer cyclists more direct routes and interconnect the respective bike lanes of the  Metro Manila cities.

“We should be attracting people to shift to bicycles instead of to cars or motorcycles by offering safe, spacious and interconnected bike lanes.  It will mean healthier, more productive and happier Filipinos.  It will be our best weapon to solve traffic congestion,” he added.

Earlier, reports said sales of second-hand vehicles could increase as commuters affected by the lack of public transportation search for other ways to move them.

The restrictions to help control the spread of the CoVid 19 still ban jeepneys and other public utility vehicles from  serving the riding public.

Thousands of workers were stranded in many parts of Metro Manila when they tried reporting back to jobs but could not find rides at the start of the General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

Until now, many of them are relying on scarce government-provided buses and limited rail transport accommodation while some are left with no other recourse but to walk to and from  workplaces.

Toyota Motor Philippines Corp. (TMP) noted an  increase in inquiries for used vehicles.

“Recently, most of those who inquire from our TCUV (Toyota Certified Used Car) dealers are commuters who regularly use public and mass transport to get to work or to carry out essential trips for their family’s needs,” said Gener Castillo, TMP assistant vice president for value chain section.

There might be higher demand for personal mobility among those who see having a car as a need, but would like a more affordable option and an easier way to get financing approval without compromising quality, efficiency and safety,” Castillo added.

Customers can avail of used cars which went through rigid inspection and certification by TMP, he said.

Castillo said cars have additional limited warranty and are qualified for flexible financing terms with Toyota Financial Services.

The used vehicles offered are sourced from current Toyota customers planning to upgrade by trading in or selling their vehicle at fair value, he said.

Meanwhile, Siy said aside from used cars , sales of new vehicles could also jump.  Even sales of new and used motorcycles might climb as a result of the pandemic.

“This is because people will be trying to travel in isolation, away from crowds,” he added.

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