Boda bodas increase by 53% in five years

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Boda bodas increase by 53% in five years


Motorcycle registrations have increased by 53% in five years, highlighting the growing popularity of boda boda as a means of transportation and a source of income. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Official data shows that the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) registered 285,203 motorcycles in 2021 compared to 186,434 registered in 2017.
  • During the reporting period, the greatest growth was recorded between 2019 and 2020, when 36,603 motorcycles were registered.
  • Boda bodas continue to grow in popularity among Kenyans as they are able to avoid traffic and can access places where other traditional means of transport such as taxis and matatus cannot.

Motorcycle registrations have increased by 53% in five years, highlighting the growing popularity of boda boda as a means of transportation and a source of income.

Official data shows that the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) registered 285,203 motorcycles in 2021 compared to 186,434 in 2017. During the reporting period, the greatest growth was recorded between 2019 and 2020, when 36,603 motorcycles have been registered.

Boda bodas continue to grow in popularity among Kenyans as they are able to avoid traffic and can access places where other traditional means of transport such as taxis and matatus cannot.

The increased demand for bicycles has also attracted several companies which have set up assembly plants in Nairobi and Mombasa for completely knocked down imported units.

Apart from the popular TVS, other models on Kenyan roads are Honda from Japan, brands from Indian company Bajaj such as Boxer, Yamaha from Toyota Kenya as well as a myriad of low cost Chinese brands.

A recent study by publicly traded Car & General (C&G) #ticker:CGEN, which sells motorcycles, their parts and other engineering equipment, shows that the boda boda sector indirectly supports six million means of subsistence, which translates to about 10% of the country’s population.

The sector provides one million direct jobs to bikers who earn 1 billion shillings a day, underscoring its importance to Kenya’s economy.

Despite its importance, the sector has its dark side. In March this year, the government launched a nationwide crackdown on boda boda operators for indiscipline.

The motorcycle industry was thrown into the spotlight when bikers assaulted a motorist on Wangari Maathai Road in Nairobi, sparking widespread condemnation of the boda boda threat.

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