Factors influencing growth of motorcycle-propelled urban public transport: a case of tricycles and motorbikes in Kitui Town, Kenya
Chepchieng', Joshua K
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the factors influencing growth of motorcyclepropelled tricycles and bikes in commercial urban transport in Kitui town, Kenya. The study objectives were to: establish the influence of unemployment, transport cost, urban transport policy, road infrastructure and convenient transportation on growth of motorcycle urban transport. The research problem was to find out why motorcycle-propelled taxis had increased, in commercial transport despite their involvement in traffic accidents. The study adopted descriptive naturalistic design. Questionnaires, interviews and observations were used in data collection. Qualitative data were analyzed by categorization into themes and narrations of respondents' quotations and verbatim, while quantitative data were analyzed using tally system to get frequency counts from the filled in questionnaires. The analyzed data was presented using frequency distribution tables and pictures. The study findings revealed that unemployment and income levels, transport cost, traffic rules knowledge and adoption, rugged road network infrastructure and convenient transportation of the urban population partially influenced growth of motorcycle transport in Kitui town. The researcher concluded that low-income levels, unemployment, lack of law enforcement and poor roads were some of the key factors influencing growth of motorcycle transport in Kitui town. Finally, the researcher recommended that the policy makers should formulate an all-inclusive urban transport policy that will take care of the safety precautions of motorcycle transport because although it was problematic in town it was found to provide affordable urban mobility especially to the poor who were the majority in most of the towns in Kenya. The researcher suggested further studies on all-inclusive urban modes of transport policy, motorcycles in urban centres and on the role of law enforcers in public urban commercial transport. This could help in unrevealing some of the modalities of streamlining commercial public urban transport so that it can accommodate motorcycles without having to be bothered by the various associated problems with this mode of transport.