A safer commute alternative

Nusrat Jahan Pritom

7 June, 2020 12:00 AM printer

A safer commute alternative

Though the lockdown has been eased in Bangladesh, we all still stand at high risk since the number of positive COVID-19 patients are increasing rapidly every week.  But a lockdown for over 66 days is also not a feasible plan for the country’s economy. The wheel of life must turn. There are many people who have again gone back to their workplaces. Public transport is available but is not meeting the required demand as the number of seats has been halved (to decrease the risk of transmission). A great alternative during such times can be riding the bicycle to work.

Bicycle is a convenient solution that has already become popular in many places of the world during the pandemic. Bike sells have gone up the scale and now, there is a long line of people in the waiting list who are interested to buy bicycles. In USA for example, buying a bike is no longer as easy as going to a shop for purchasing it. With the huge demand and lack of inventories because of the pandemic, buying a bicycle is a hard job that requires patience. It is not just the bike shops but bicycle repair shops are just as packed. E-bikes have also become popular during the pandemic as they are faster and more efficient.

In Bangladesh, bicycle can be a more convenient solution than buses for office-goers. For one thing, walking into a bus means encountering many people on the way- bus conductor, passenger, etc. Sometimes, there is a lot of rush to get on a bus. These are times when a person cannot maintain social distancing and there is a high chance to get infected. On a bicycle on the other hand, you do not need to interact with anybody. It also does not cause any pollution. Moreover, cycling can be a great way to overcome traffic jam.

The only problem a cyclist may face is the absence of a separate lane for cycling in the major roads. As cycle goes at a lower velocity compared to the other transports on the road, this can pose some risk. It would be very beneficial for cyclists if a separate lane could be made dedicated for them. It may also encourage more people to opt for bicycles. This in turn will decrease the gathering in public transports so not only the cyclists but those who travel in busses can also reach their destinations safely.