If you live in or have ever visited rural communities, you have probably noticed that their primary mode of transportation is off-road motorbikes. In many places around the world, particularly in sub-Sahara Africa, Latin America, Asia, and even in some areas of the United States, urban and rural areas are worlds apart. This means that while the urban areas have well-paved roads and highways, rural communities have to content themselves with dirt roads that lead to nowhere and manually hauling their goods to the market.
This is why an off-road motorbike is such an essential and critical part of every household in rural areas. They depend on motorbikes to take them to their workplaces, to school, and to urban areas where they can have access to resource centers. Paul Starkey, who wrote the paper “The Benefits and Challenges of Increasing Motorcycle Use For Rural Areas” as presented before the International Conference on Transportation and Road Research in 2016, highlighted the importance of motorbikes in the informal sector.
He reported that in countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cameroun, motorbikes increased by as much as 8,000%. In fact, many of these countries are still using motorcycle taxi services to extend the reach and access of public roads.
Boosts Economic Opportunities
The use of motorcycles allows rural communities to bring goods and services to urban centers where these could be sold in public markets and even grocery stores. There are better economic opportunities when motorbikes are used to transport goods and services because the cost is lower compared to using off-road pickup trucks and the upkeep of the said motorbikes is also easier than other vehicles.
Improves Access To Health Services
Back in 2013,a CNN report featured Riders for Health (RFH), which is a group that manages motorcycles, ambulances, and other off-road vehicles to bring health products and services to rural areas in Africa. Today, when there are still plenty of bumpy dirt roads and rugged tracks in rural areas around the world, the use of motorbikes to access hard-to-reach communities is still as important as ever. Some of the health services that can be carried over to these rural areas are visits to at-risk pregnant women, delivery of life-saving medications, and advising rural communities on the dangers of unsanitary water and insect bites, both of which are leading causes of illnesses and outbreaks in rural communities.
Opens Chances To Better Education
You have probably watched documentaries showing children walking for two hours (sometimes, more) to reach the nearest school. They want to learn how to read and write and forge a future that does not include walking several miles to reach a town. But all of these are impossible without public roads and transportation. Fortunately for them, some motorbikes are manufactured precisely for this scenario. With access to off-road motorcycles, children will have an easier time going to school in bigger towns to receive a better education than the one they are getting back home.
For many, motorbikes are just one of the ways to haul people and things to other places. But they take on an entirely new meaning when put in the context of rural areas. They don’t only transport people, products, and even services, but they bring job opportunities and open up chances for residents to better themselves.