High Volume Transport

Vital transport research to ensure accessible, affordable and climate friendly transport for all.

Impact of COVID-19 on urban motorcycle taxi transport


To study the impact of COVID-19 on urban motorcycle taxis in Sub-Saharan Africa and recommend best practices to stimulate COVID-19 recovery.

COVID-19 Challenge

In the last 25 or so years motorcycle taxis and, more recently, motor-tricycle taxis, have fundamentally changed mobility and access in urban areas in Sub-Saharan Africa. Motor tricycle taxis provide rapid door-to-door transport, support livelihood activities, and facilitate access to essential services, such as health, markets and education.

COVID-19 and the measures taken to mitigate the spread of the virus have had substantial impact on this widespread intermediate form of transport. Understanding this impact is crucial for planning, managing and operating urban transport services, also for ensuring these essential services remain accessible to urban dwellers in periods of lockdown. Motorcycle taxi operators have shown ingenuity and ability to adapt and innovate when responding to health challenges. What are the best practices in responding to the Covid-19 outbreak and can these ‘bottom up’ practices be disseminated effectively?


This action-oriented study had three key activities as follows:


The study findings and best practices, including social and technological innovations to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 have been shared with urban motorcycle taxi operators and key stakeholders, including policymakers. This was done in a webinar and on a sharing platform freely accessible to all beneficiaries and key stakeholders.

Six country-specific and one generic policy brief have been prepared to enable knowledge exchange and sent to the key stakeholders interviewed.