Three months ago, we were all worried about how to survive through the lockdown. That might look like child's play given the challenges we are now facing. The countrywide lockdown is over, and offices/businesses have opened up for our economy to sustain. Which means one or more members from every family now have to travel every day, risking themselves to the exposure to the Corona virus. While the conditions at home and the workplace can be kept under control, it is the commuting to and from the workplace, which carries one of the biggest risks for everyone.
The privileged class of the society are least affected though. They can travel to work in their private cars and stay safe. Nevertheless, what about the rest; the middle- and lower-income group people, most of who has to take the public transports to workplace? They are wearing masks, gloves and PPEs and carrying sanitisers and disinfectants with them while travelling, but even then, how safe can they be?
It has certainly not been a pleasant experience for them. Buses fail in maintaining safe distance among the passengers and fail to maintain proper sanitisation and disinfection of the vehicles. In many instances, the passengers face bodily contact with other passengers, conductors, ticket sellers or helpers. The sharp increase in the number of infected people and deaths daily since the lockdown has been lifted somewhat endorses this fact.
For their own safety, many have opted to use taxicabs and CNGs as a safer mode of traveling. However, that too is not entirely safe, as passengers are unaware of the health condition of the previous passenger, and it is not always possible to sanitise the taxi /CNG before every ride. In addition, it is certainly not economical. That has put most people to look for safer and cheaper alternative transportation modes. Moreover, they have realised that private vehicles (cars, motorcycles and cycles) are the safest, which has also been advocated by western countries.
For most middle- and lower-income families, two-wheelers are the best options. Many students and lower income working class people are looking to buy bicycles for their daily commute and for running errands. It is economically benefitting as well. However, for the middle-income office-goers, because of distance they have to travel every day, a motorcycle is the preferred vehicle of choice. Compared to travelling by CNG or taxi, travelling by motorcycle is much cheaper. It's a faster means of travel compared to most other vehicles as well. Without a shred of doubt, two-wheelers are a way safer transport than travelling by any of the public transports. These two-wheelers are promising a much-needed relief to this vast middle and lower income group of our country during this pandemic chaos.