SSATP Working Paper No.12 (IMT)

The study reviews the intermediate means of transport in eastern Uganda, suggesting that ownership, and use of bicycles is a double-sided factor in meeting household needs, for it not only provides transportation, but serves as a means of income generation. Several factors however, influence ownership of a bicycle, namely, economic status, cultural background, and location with regard to the terrain, and infrastructure. The cost of bicycles is comparatively higher than prices received for agricultural commodities, in addition to the fact that credit availability is non-existent. Furthermore, gender issues preclude this mode of transportation for women, for culturally, it remains a male prerogative in most areas, while in other areas, although the obstacle still prevails, it is rather because of lack of access by women, due to economic reasons. The report further emphasizes the two-way income generating potential of bicycles: it provides a direct sale of passenger transport services in urban areas, and, enables the trade of agricultural products from rural areas, to wider markets. The report suggests this mode is potentially high in financial terms, since its recovery cost on the initial investment, can be achieved in the very short-run. Finally the report questions the possibility for women to reduce their transport burden, given the constraints above mentioned, but offers recommendations to review credit promotion, alleviate gender issues, possibly by lowering transport infrastructure costs, and, promotes local interest groups participation to identify priorities, and appropriate interventions.

File Type: 
Date of Publication (Year): 
Jan 1994
Christina E. Malmberg Calvo