Boda Boda: The Impact of A Motorbike Taxi Service in Rural South Uganda

Gamberini, Gian Luca

Rural sub-Saharan Africa suffers from a lack of transportation infrastructure, hindering rural access for populations in remote areas to social and economic opportunities available in urban areas. Scholars have studied this issue for decades, focusing on the monetary and social imbalances caused by this isolation. I will analyze a motorbike taxi service called Boda Boda, a means of transportation widely used in East Africa and the factors affecting its use. Binary probability regressions reveal counterintuitive behavior, such as a high sensitivity to distances only for accessing non-productive activities such as health infrastructure. Poisson regressions show that the likelihood of undertaking multiple trips in Boda Boda is high only in the presence of an agricultural surplus. A qualitative analysis based on four surveys shows that Boda Boda is largely used to foster social relations and confirms that it is rarely used as a method to access health or education facilities. I postulate that Boda Boda has a positive impact on the freedom and development of remote populations. The research for this paper took place in two villages in southern Uganda from December 2013 to January 2014.

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Also Published In

The Journal of Politics and Society

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Academic Units
Helvidius Group
Helvidius Group of Columbia University
Published Here
August 10, 2015