DP13-Role-Motorcycles.pdf - Understanding the emerging role...

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Understanding the emerging role of motorcycles in African cities A political economy perspective Ajay Kumar SSATP Discussion Paper No. 1 3 Urban Transport Series
Understanding the emerging role of motorcycles in African cities A political economy perspective
Understanding the emerging role of motorcycles in African cities A political economy perspective Ajay Kumar April 2011 Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program
The SSATP is an international partnership to facilitate policy development and related capacity building in the transport sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Sound policies lead to safe, reliable, and cost-effective transport, freeing people to lift themselves out of poverty and helping countries to compete internationally. * * * * * * * The SSATP is a partnership of 36 SSA countries 8 Regional Economic Communities 2 African institutions: UNECA, AU/NEPAD 10 active donors: European Commission (main donor), Denmark, France, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, Islamic Develop- ment Bank, African Development Bank, and World Bank (host) Numerous public and private state and regional organizations * * * * * * * The SSATP gratefully acknowledges the financial contributions and support of the European Commission; the governments of Denmark, France, Ireland, Norway, Sweden, and United Kingdom; and the Islamic Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the World Bank. * * * * * * * More publications on the SSATP Website: The findings, interpretations, and conclusions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SSATP or its partners. © 2011 The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development/The World Bank All rights reserved.
Contents Introduction 1 The Problem 2 The Study 3 What makes urban transport a focus of political agenda? 4 What are the key issues? 6 Why have these issues persisted? 15 How can the issues be addressed going forward? 22
1 Introduction A decline in organized public transport systems has led to rapid growth in non-conventional means of public transport, initially provided by minibuses and shared taxi/vans, and more recently by commercial motorcycles. Unlike cities in South and East Asia, own- ership and use of motorized two-wheelers as a personalized vehicle is very small in sub-Saharan cities. However, over the past decade there has been a significant growth in the use of motorcycles as a commercial public transport mode. While offering certain transport advantages in the form of easy maneuverability, ability to travel on poor roads, and demand responsiveness, commercial motorcycle service growth has also led to an increase in road accidents, traffic management problems, pervasive noise and increases in local air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Government efforts to re- gulate the market have had the contrary impact of compounding the problem by distorting market structures. The growth in the use of commercial motorcycles has also dispelled one of the commonly

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