CAPE TOWN, South Africa
In South Africa, Bus Rapid Transit systems, which were pioneered to great effect in Latin American countries such as Colombia and Brazil, are being promoted as potentially effective ways of delivering improved public transport services to the urban poor. But experts question whether systems such as these can alleviate poverty to any meaningful extent.
The road between Zimbabwe’s Victoria Falls and Livingstone, in Zambia, is a well-traversed one, criss-crossed by bicycle riders towing trailers of bread and other supplies, with their bicycle spokes reinforced to bear the extra weight.
"Politicians may tell us that bicycles are a sign that we are not advancing," says Patrick Kayemba, managing director of the First African Bicycle Information Organization in Uganda, "but we ourselves have seen that cycling is a socio-economic tool. It works now - we don’t have to wait for someone to rescue us with better public transport, better this, or better that..."