Bicycle poverty reduction

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Tanzanian boy transporting fodder on his bicycle to feed his family cattle

Bicycle poverty reduction is the concept that access to bicycles and the transportation infrastructure to support them can dramatically reduce poverty.[1][2][3][4] This has been demonstrated in various pilot projects in South Asia and Africa.[5][6][7] Experiments done in Africa (Uganda and Tanzania) and Sri Lanka on hundreds of households have shown that a bicycle can increase the income of a poor family by as much as 35%.[5][8][9]

Transport, if analyzed for the cost–benefit analysis for rural poverty alleviation, has given one of the best returns in this regard. For example, road investments in India were a staggering 3–10 times more effective than almost all other investments and subsidies in rural economy in the decade of the 1990s. A road can ease transport on a macro level, while bicycle access supports it at the micro level. In that sense, the bicycle can be one of the most effective means to eradicate poverty in poor nations.


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  1. ^ Annie Lowrey (April 30, 2013). "Is It Crazy to Think We Can Eradicate Poverty?". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  2. ^ Nicholas D. Kristof (April 12, 2010). "A Bike for Abel". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  3. ^ Fred P. Hochberg (January 5, 2002). "Practical Help for Afghans". The New York Times. Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  4. ^ "Our Impact". Bicycles Against Poverty. Archived from the original on August 27, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  5. ^ a b "Bicycle: The Unnoticed Potential". Retrieved August 6, 2013.
  6. ^ "How can the bicycle assist in poverty eradication and social development in Africa?" (PDF). International Bicycle Fund. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 17, 2014. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
  7. ^ "Pedal Powered Hope Project (PPHP)". Bikes Without Borders. Archived from the original on August 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-08-06.
  8. ^ Niklas Sieber (1998). "Appropriate Transportation and Rural Development in Makete District, Tanzania" (PDF). Journal of Transport Geography. 6 (1): 69–73. doi:10.1016/S0966-6923(97)00040-9. Retrieved July 9, 2011.
  9. ^ "Project Tsunami Report Confirms The Power of Bicycle" (PDF). World Bicycle Relief. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 26, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2011.

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