TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Budi Susanto has been riding a bicycle to go to work in central Jakarta for the past few months. Before that, he had driven either a motorcycle or a car to commute, just like most of the residents in the Indonesian capital.
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country last year, the 46-year-old man started to cycle around the capital regularly in order to stay active and healthy, release stress, and protect himself from getting infected.
"This COVID-19 pandemic situation has made me understand more about the importance of staying in good health and good mood," said Susanto, who works as an accountant for a private company, as quoted by Xinhua.
Susanto is one of those living in Jakarta, with a population of over 10 million, who are transitioning from motor vehicles to bicycles during the pandemic.
The father of two boys said some of his colleagues and friends have been influenced by his cycling lifestyle. Sometimes they cycle together around the city on weekends.
The Jakarta administration is planning to add more special bike lanes across the city after having designated over 60 km amid the pandemic cycling trend. The plan is to make city streets safe and accessible for everyone.
Recently, Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said that he planned to create 500 km of bike lanes which he thought are an ideal length of bike tracks in the city.
The governor has also initiated the construction of a bicycle monument that costs 800 million Indonesian rupiahs (56,385 U.S. dollars) in the city's main thoroughfare.