‘Bilang Siklista Project’: How counting fellow cyclists contributes to future green investments

June 5, 2024 - 6:39 PM
Female Volunteer counting cyclists (Mobility Awards PH/Released)

Green investors and stakeholders can soon make informative plans for an eco-friendly future with the help of more than 150 volunteers manually counting cyclists in different cities nationwide.

Mobility Awards PH focuses on prioritizing the needs of Filipinos without motor vehicles by revolutionizing mobile transport. This was organized by The Climate Reality Project Philippines, 350 Pilipinas, Institute for Climate and Sustainable Cities, MNL Moves, and Pinay Bike Commuter Community.

In celebration of the Philippine Environment Month and World Bicycle Day, conveners of the Mobility Awards have partnered with multiple local governments and bicycle communities to begin its fourth run of the “Bilang Siklista Project” which aims to study how many Pinoys bike as a mode of transportation.

Volunteer bike counters (Mobility Awards PH/Released)

This year’s initiative kicked off last Monday in Marikina, Muntinlupa, Cagayan De Oro City, and Butuan City. Bicycle advocates gather their data during peak cycling hours from 6 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 6 a.m.

“By counting people-on-bicycles and observing travel behaviors of cycling public, this form of citizen-science helps cities leverage the power of active citizens to gather needed baseline data especially when resources are limited,” Mobility Awards PH said.

The next bike counter days will be held in the following days:

  • June 6 – Mandaluyong City
  • June 21 – Baguio City and Naga City
  • June 21 to 22 – Cebu City
  • June 24 – Cordova Municipality, Pasig City, Taguig City
  • June 25 – Manila City
  • June 24 to 30 – Quezon City

Benefits in the long run

Celine Tabinga, the national coordinator of Mobility Awards, highlighted the positive upbringing of the Bilang Siklista Project not only to fellow cyclists, but also for shaping a greener future.

“This collaborative effort between cities, volunteers and online community groups supports the development of safer, more inclusive and connected bike infrastructures of cities; It also fosters a sense of pride and ownership among volunteers especially when the data are used by their cities to inform bike infrastructure improvements,” she said in a statement.

Mobility Awards also noted that this is not only about counting cyclists, but also conducts study on the quantity of gender, helmet etiquette, and cycling movement trends.

In 2023, the organizers found that there are only 4 percent of females riding bicycles in public areas, leaving 96 percent to male cyclists.

First-time volunteer Krystle Taghap stated that the reason behind this large gap is that women and children feel more vulnerable and unsafe.

“I am committed to enhancing bike infrastructure in my city to ensure safer roads for everyone,” she said.

Bilang Siklista started counting cyclists in Marikina, Quezon City, Pasig, and San Juan last 2021. Their scope has expanded outside of Metro Manila over the years, estimating to around 800 volunteers mobilized last year.

The 2023 data concluded that 147,800 cyclists, as this year’s consolidated number will become accessible by October via their website.

Volunteer registrations are still open in Cebu, Baguio and Cordova.