Africa: Why You Need to Ditch Your Car for a Bike and Save Earth

Many urban dwellers in African cities are low-income earners and their main means of transport is walking. This could change with the uptake of bicycle riding.

A study titled, Non-motorised Transport in African Cities. Lessons from Experience in Kenya and Tanzania said cycling is rare in large cities but "popular, reaching around 20 percent of all daily trips in smaller cities". Another study released recently encourages cycling in larger cities to tame global warming by reducing carbon emissions by cars.

The study titled, "The Climate Change Mitigation Effects of Daily Active Travel in Cities" said cities must adapt to "active travel" such as cycling, e-biking and walking to achieve decarbonised city transport. "Active travel is cheaper, healthier, better for the environment, and no slower on congested urban streets".

Its findings show that bicycle riders are low carbon emitters by 84 percent compared with motorists in cities like London, Barcelona, Antwerp, Zurich, Rome, Orebro and Vienna.

A person who switched from a car to a bicycle reduced their carbon footprint by 3.2kg of carbon dioxide per day "which is equivalent to the emissions from driving a car for 10km."

The study proposes fast tracking the goal of achieving zero emissions in cities by phasing out all motorised transport especially private cars.

More From: East African

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