Planning for Non- Motorized Urban Public Transport in Kisumu City: The case of boda boda.

The significance of the urban transport system lies in their provision of linkages between points of residence and employment, their contribution to economies of scale and specialization of urban based activities (particularly commercial and industrial activities); the employment opportunities they offer to the inhabitants of settlements and their impact on the geographical growth and urban form of cities. This study focuses on the mobility situation in Kisumu with special reference to Non- motorized transport (NMT). The study aimed at planning for non-motorized public transport by highlighting the place of boda-boda (bicycle taxi) in the field of urban public transport planning and finding those policy and operational guidelines which make their services more efficient and effective in Kisumu.

 Through purposive sampling, the study covered the major (radial roads) within the town which include Nairobi, Jomo Kenyatta Highway Kisumu-Kibos and Kisumu –Busia roads. These are the main thoroughfares in the town and therefore attract all traffic into and out of Kisumu town. In all these streets it was found that, on average, boda-boda is a predominant mode with a modal split of 37% of all traffic categories. Pedestrians also comprised 37%, as presented in chapter Four. This is an indication that there is an urgent need to provide for NMT infrastructure in Kisumu city. 

 The study has established that a number of factors have accounted for the introduction and subsequent growth of boda-boda as a public transport mode in Kisumu city. These include the high proportion of city residents living under the poverty line, high population growth coupled with high unemployment rates, poor road network especially in the slum settlements and inadequacy of the motorized public transport service. As a mode of public transport in the town, boda-boda has resulted into conflicts within the transportation channels mainly due to lack of its accompanying infrastructure. Distinct types of interventions have been recommended for Kisumu and these include: Building special infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, introduction of traffic calming measures on the demand side; and on the supply side interventions, to increase bicycle ownership and use through NMT policy initiatives.

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