A report by the Motorcycle Assemblers Association of Kenya (MAAK) shows that there were at least 600,000 commercial motorcycles (Bodabodas) in Kenya by the end of 2017, out of 4.8 million bikes in the country. On average, most boda boda operators take home about Ksh1,000 per day each, translating to more than Ksh600 million cumulatively.
This is attributed to their flexibility in snail-paced traffic jams in urban areas as well as moving seamlessly in narrow and rugged roads, where matatus and other transport means cannot suffice.
On the flipside, 14-seater matatu business is estimated to rake in an average of Ksh3,500 profit per day.
MAAK chairperson Isaac Kalua attributes the prevalence of boda bodas to the menace in public transport. “Until there is a solution to mass transport, there shall continue to be a need,” says Kalua.
The industry continues to soar even after a tainted image of escalated cases of robbery, theft and accidents. Statistics from the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA) indicate that close to 500 people suffered from motorcycle accidents between January and May of this year. The number encompasses fatalities, serious injuries and slight knocks.
Despite all this, the boda boda industry is bound to continue booming beyond the current Ksh219 billion a year. The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) says that 159,100 motorcycles were sold in Kenya as at October 2017, an 87% growth compared to the same period in 2016.
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