Bicycles are the most commonly used form of Intermediate Means of Transport (IMT) in Sub-Saharan Africa, greatly increasing personal mobility and load-carrying capacity for rural people. They are increasingly used for providing local transport services, for example bicycle taxis are widely used in Uganda and some parts of Western Kenya. Studies have shown that repair and maintenance costs for bicycles are high due to carrying heavy loads on poor roads and tracks. It is likely that improved infrastructure reduces both operating costs and also trip times, benefiting both personal users and also operators and users of bicycle transport services. However, the economic benefits to bicycle users are rarely included in the appraisal of rural transport projects.
With this in mind the aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of infrastructure quality on bicycle operating costs in order to develop improved tools for including these costs in appraisal of transport projects.