Towards safe, clean and affordable rural transport: present realities and recent trends

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1 Towards safe, clean and affordable rural transport: present realities and recent trends Paul Starkey Consultant in Rural Transport Animal Traction Development and University of Reading

2 Background The presentation is based on the selected findings of the consultant s recent work in Africa, Asia and Latin America In particular a major study on Rural Transport Services undertaken in 2005 for the Sub Saharan African Transport Policy Program (SSATP), administered by the World Bank That study was contracted to ITC (Intermediate Technology Consultants) working with WSP and members of the IFRTD (International Forum for Rural Transport and Development) The methodology and results of the study are available and are likely to be published and disseminated by SSATP Implemented by an international team of ten people Paul Starkey (Team Leader), Abdul Awadh (Tanzania), Priyanthi Fernando (WSPimc), Paul Murray (ORH), Henry Musonda (Zambia), Peter Njenga (IFRTD Kenya), Stephen Newport (WSPimc), Gnanderman Sirpé (Burkina Faso), Liz Tapper (ITC), Kemtsop Tchinda (Cameroon)

3 Present reality Main rural transport types Walking and carrying Intermediate means of transport Bicycles Motorcycles Animal drawn carts Pack and riding animals Rural taxis Minibuses, pick ups, cars, 4x4s Trucks (eg, 3 tonne, 10 tonne) Buses (more than 20 seats) Other (Government, NGO, Religious, Private etc) Water transport large, medium, small

4 Present reality Very low levels of motorised transport Motorised transport is extremely low on rural roads Most motor transport services are urban or inter-urban Rural transport often overestimated by considering national spoke to rural areas as rural transport Region Population Motor transport fleet 1 Mouhoun, Burkina Faso 1,400, Southern, Cameroon 500, Iringa, Tanzania 1,500, Singida, Tanzania 1,100, Luapula, Zambia 800, Estimate of motor vehicles providing transport services: buses, trucks and rural taxis

5 Present reality Importance of Intermediate Means of Transport More poor edit rural Master people depend on IMTs than motorised transport Overall investment in IMTs is often much greater than large-scale motorised transport Size of transport fleet Vehicle numbers Investment in transport USD millions Region IMTs Motorised 1 IMTs Motorised 1 Mouhoun, Burkina 220, Southern Cameroon 21, Iringa, Tanzania 70, Singida, Tanzania 75, Luapula, Zambia 80, Large motor transport: buses, trucks and rural taxis

6 Present reality Invisible rural transport Much important transport on footpaths, cart tracks, cycle tracks and small bridges all off the planners maps Waterways Urban-based decision makers do not see intermediate means of transport or appreciate their value and productive roles Bicycles are pre-history (2005) World Bank should fund roads not studies on rural transport services (2005)

7 Present reality Safety and poverty Safety regulations exist but not enforced in rural areas Problems include overloaded freight vehicles, overcrowded passenger vehicles, mixed freight and passengers, inadequate lights, inadequate brakes Driver errors often most important (overloading, speeding, drugs/alcohol, inadequate attention) Some poor safety related to poverty (few transport options, little money to invest in safety) Immediate enforcement of safety regulations could increase prices and diminish transport availability (eg, Matatu minibuses in Kenya) Where there is little rural transport, freight vehicles can have important role in carrying passengers.

8 Present reality Transport for health services Rural ambulance services are rare or inexistent People travel for health care in whatever transport is available including buses, rural taxis, private cars, bicycles, animal-drawn carts and local stretchers Clinics often send hospital referrals by public transport Lack of suitable transport increases medical problems and mortality Medical services, local communities and transporters (all types) should work together to plan and meet health transport needs, using a wide range of transport types

9 Recent trend Bicycles used for production and livelihoods Bicycles increasing in numbers, uses and importance Bicycles used for production and rural livelihoods Medium-distance (20 km) journeys bicycles common Long-distance (80+ km) journeys bicycles not unusual Bicycle taxi services increasing Rural people wish to buy bicycles but expensive Rural bicycles often cost $100 (price from China/India c $25) Import duties and VAT increase bicycle cost Vicious circle, high price and low market demand Bicycles often ignored and scorned by authorities Overall tax income would rise if bicycles de-taxed, with virtuous circle of more bicycles, creating more economic activity (and more tax)

10 Recent trend Increase in rural motorcycles Motorcycles edit increasingly Master provide affordable rural transport services Prices falling due to Chinese imports From $2000 for Japanese to $600 for Chinese Starts as urban use (personal transport and taxis) Urban investors can profit from funding urban or rural services Rich urban person buys motorcycle for $600 Hires to young operator for $4-6 per day Recovers capital within six months Replaces every six months, selling for half price ($300) Young operator profits by making 8+ journeys at one dollar Rural people have available transport service Critical mass of rural users and support services develops Many safety issues (helmets, overloading, irresponsible driving) Growth in rural motorcycles will increase and help rural transport

11 Recent trend Transport firms and franchises In many countries new transport businesses have been successfully established for inter-urban transport. These operate from private transport terminals with enhanced security and waiting facilities and regular travel timetables Competition between transport firms improves standards Agents may be paid to encourage business and consolidate loads Some are beginning to serve and consolidate the rural transport market. In some countries (eg, Cameroon) transport firms are franchises, with independent vehicle operators taking the name and colours of the franchise, for a percentage of their takings Transport firms and franchises are having a positive impact on transport quality and predictability and should be encouraged

12 Recent trend Transport hubs The concept edit of Master transport hubs and spokes increasingly used to understanding rural transport and optimising transport services Hub hierarchy, with recognisable characteristics National hub, inter-urban routes & transport corridors Regional hub, daily motorised transport on main spokes Market hub, irregular motor services, IMTs important Village hub, walking and carrying and IMTs Using mapping software, properties ascribed to Nodes (settlements), eg, population, poverty, transport demand Vectors (roads and tracks), eg, road condition, Computer models and stakeholder collaboration may help understanding of rural transport services and options to consolidate different transport needs

13 Conclusions and recommendations Existing poor edit transport Master restricts access of rural women, men and children to markets, healthcare, education and economic opportunities Rural transport is not very profitable, with viscous circle of low demand, irregular transport, low economic participation and unsafe practices Need to increase safe and affordable transport by Promoting and de-taxing intermediate means of transport Consolidating demand and establishing predictable minimum services through participative planning (operators, regulators and all users, including health services), incentives and sensitive regulation

14 Thank you

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