Friday, August 14, 2015

Getting around the village

Public transportation has developed new forms. Fifty years ago, residents of Bungoma would walk for a whole day to reach Luanda, enjoying the beauty of Nyanza and sharing roast maize along the way. Today, there are a variety of efficient and affordable ways to get around the villages of Western Kenya.



Throughout the region bicycles are being replaced by motorcycles. Bicycles became famous carrying passengers across the Kenya-Uganda Border and developed the Swahili moniker "boda-boda", from one border to another. Motorcycles are known by another fun name: "piki-piki" and I can verify that one motorcycle can carry up to four passengers and dozens of chickens. Motorcycles are now the main form of transportation for many, from home to the marketplace, farm, or job. 

Another recent arrival on the transportation scene is the affordable and efficient Toyota Probox, which ferries passengers longer distances on more established roads. Back bench variations of the vehicle legally hold six passengers, but we've seen up to 17 in a single car. To accommodate as many travelers as possible, the driver encourages passengers to squeeze as much as possible, all children are carried or stand, and it is normal for the driver to sit on the lap of an extra passenger while driving. . .Matatus are also common in Western Kenya and ply the major highways ferrying passengers between cities and towns. These colorful vehicles are an efficient and affordable way to connect.



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