The role of bicycles in rural transport: A case study of Ngware-ini of Nyando Division
The use of the motorised modes in rural area& .have been found to be low due to the fact that they are inaccessible to· the majority. The inaccessibility can be attributed to low 4ncome level and· iow surfaced roads connectivity, hence. the' rural inhabitants tend to use the non-motorised ones because heir ease in operation, ownership and hire. They can also move~on low quality footpaths and roads. This study, carried out in Nyando/Kad ibo Divis OAS,was aimed at covering bicycles operating in off-road ·transportation of both passengers and goods for various trip makers ."- These bicycles are known as Ngware-ini. According to the search find Longs , the mode offers fast service and is giving the operating in their routes a stiff competition. 'The number of bicycles have been increasing for the past seven years. The operation of these modes act as an income generating activity in the region. The main objective of this study was to examine factors favoring the use of these modes. Other objectives were to assess whether the operation can offer productive employment, the type of transport neeQs they fulfil, possible problems they face and to make 'recommendations for their efficient use. During the field survey, cluster stratified random-sampling technique was devised and adopted for use in data collection. Sub-locations were therefore taken as clusters used as sampling -. 'units through which elementary uni~, that is, the households were identified and interviewed. Katatu and Ngware-ini opera-tors ,were interviewed using the systematic sampling while ~icycle ~~ repairers and passengers interviewed randomly. The findings of the study revealed that Ngware-inis transport more passengers along the transport corridors than matatus in the off-road transport. The average monthly income generated from Ngware-ini operation is higher than that generated from the agricultural produce in the region. Ngware-inis were also found to offer both direct and indirect employment and employ more operators compared to matatus in the divisions. In the process of their operation, they assist in traffic build up along the main transport corridors. In goods movemeQt, Rgwareinis are suitable in transportation of rice, vegetables, sugarcane, shop merchandise and furniture among others. In terms of the modes' social and economic viability. they control matatu fare increases on their routes, can be repaired locally and some of their parts fabricated by the jua kali artisans in the region. The study recommends that there is a need to further create awareness on the suitability of the modes in the region. construct their parking terminals along transport corridors in the markets and avail credit for them to enhance the activity.