If your job is to improve the transport system, you have to walk the talk.
Transport planner Elijah Go Tian started using his bike for his commute to his office when Metro Manila was put under community quarantine. That’s from San Juan to Pasig. But before the pandemic, he usually walks and rides a jeep.
“I found the joy and convenience to go to destinations with a bike. It gives a certain flexibility to your day – you control your own time and somehow control the speed and everything that you get to do,” he said.
This 25-year-old cyclist added, “I’m a transport planner. I try to make the Philippines more movable and cycling makes me more passionate. If you promote sustainable transport, you support public transport.”
It can be more comfortable when you are inside a car. And to be fair, Elijah has an option to ride a car to work.
“You can’t always be riding your car to all different types of places. You won’t be able to see the conditions on the ground or feel it first hand – the commute, the bike ride, how inefficient our public transport is, how the lack of prioritization on walking infrastructure,” this transport planner said.
He added, “Iba when you feel it first hand rather than seeing it inside your car.”
He’s using a road bike that he got from his dad. Apparently, his parents are into bicycles too so bikes are pretty accessible to him. It’s fast and light, however, Elijah noted that his thin tires can be pretty difficult to use because our cities have bad pavements.
His interest in mobility began when he attended a traffic and road convention in 2018. He was inspired by advocates who highlighted the importance of sustainable transport.
Aside from his job, he’s also active in promoting mobility in his own ways.
“I joined Move as One Coalition. They support better transport systems here in our country, trying to help and promote mobility and active transportation,” he said. “But aside from that, I talk to my friends and use social media.”