Between October 1997 and December 1998 the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) conducted three Department for International Development (DFID)-funded survey exercises in Ghana and Malawi to study the travel patterns of rural households, the constraints to their mobility and constraints to the providers of rural transport services.
Wide variation with regard to the extent of motorised tripmaking was found between Malawi and Ghana and also within each of the two countries. In Malawi, with generally less motorised tripmaking activity, the cost of travel is generally more expensive, in absolute terms and, especially in relation to household income. The availability of rural transport services, as shown by such parameters as passenger waiting times for vehicles and frequencies of vehicle services into the villages, is related to the density of demand as indicated by district population density.
A tentative income based model of mobility is presented. It is recognised that road investments can be an expensive intervention relative to the incomes of those affected and there may be no guarantee that the poorest members of the community will benefit other than through the direct effects of transport cost savings on the economics of crop marketing. Complementary measures are required in order to increase the personal mobility of the very poor. In order to take a more holistic approach to the alleviation of poverty through transport measures, it is suggested that direct interventions should be made to encourage the provision of transport services at low fare levels for the most disadvantaged rural communities. A possible Private-Public Partnership solution is suggested.
Rutter, J.C.; Ellis, S.D.; Hine, J.L. Factors affecting the availability of rural motorised transport services in two Sub-Saharan African countries. (2000)