P1 billion in 2024 budget for more bike lanes, facilities | Inquirer News

P1 billion in 2024 budget for more bike lanes, facilities

/ 05:48 AM January 03, 2024

P1 billion in 2024 budget for more bike lanes, facilities

BIKE LANE AT EAST AVENUE | Bikers travel along East Avenue in Quezon City on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2020, to provide commuters who use bikes on their way to work with a special bike lane. (File photo by NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers have doubled to P1 billion the allocation in the 2024 national budget for protected bicycle lanes under the Active Transport and Safe Pathways Program (ATSPP), in a bid to promote cycling as an alternative mode of transportation and help reduce motor vehicle emissions in the country’s urban centers.

Quezon City Rep. Marvin Rillo, vice chair of the House of Representatives’ committee on Metro Manila development and a member of the committee on appropriations, said the P1-billion funding for the ATSPP included in the 2024 General Appropriations Act was “our way of reassuring Filipinos that cycling is a sustainable alternative mode of mobility.”


The ATSPP calls for the construction, maintenance and improvement of protected bicycle lanes and pedestrian walkways in metropolitan areas, highly urbanized cities, and independent component cities.


End-of-trip facilities

It also provides funds for the procurement of bicycle racks, the development of end-of-trip cycling and support facilities, and the upgrading of pop-up bicycle lanes into permanent ones.

Rillo pointed out in a statement on Tuesday that the allocation for the bicycle lanes with durable physical separation from mixed traffic lanes was double the P500 million that the Department of Budget and Management recommended in the National Expenditure Program.

“We are absolutely determined to promote cycling and lessen harmful motor vehicle emissions in the interest of public health,” Rillo said.

P1 billion in 2024 budget for more bike lanes, facilities

INSTALLATION OF BIKE |With the suspension of public transport during the COVID-1 pandemic, bikers and commuters groups, in partnership with Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, install a temporary bike lane from White Plains to Col. Bonny Serrano Avenues, EDSA, Quezon City on Sunday, May 24, 2020. (File photo by  NIÑO JESUS ORBETA / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Just 564 km so far

The P1-billion fresh ATSPP funding is lodged in the 2024 budget of the Department of Transportation (DOTr) and is on top of the P705 million and P2 billion earmarked for the program in 2023 and 2022.

As of June 2023, the ATSPP has put up throughout Metro Manila, Metro Cebu and Metro Davao 564 kilometers of the targeted 2,400-km bicycle lane network that the DOTr wants completed by 2028.

P1.3 billion was initially provided for the ATSPP, under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act of 2020 or Republic Act No. 11494, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.


According to the Mobility Awards, which is convened by several organizations including the Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities and The Climate Reality Project Philippines, a total of 147,800 cyclists were recorded by 817 volunteers through the Bilang Siklista Bike Count project.

Fewer bikers in 2023

In its third year of implementation, Bilang Siklista conducted counts in 17 cities across the country, during a four-hour peak time in the morning and afternoon, on seven different weekdays in June and July 2023. The 2023 findings showed a decrease in the number of cyclists, compared to the recorded 191,578 cyclists in 2022.

Mobility Awards national coordinator Arielle Celine Tabinga attributed the decline in the number of cyclists tallied to unsafe road conditions, including deteriorating conditions of bike lanes and encroachment of motorists in designated bike lanes.

The increase in the allocation for the ATSPP should thus lead to more cyclists going on the road.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Tabinga indeed noted an increase in the number of cyclists in areas such as Quezon City and Mandaue City in Cebu, mainly due to “consistent improvements in their bike lane infrastructure and programs.”

TAGS: 2024 national budget, bike lanes

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.