Quantitative Experiments

Effect of Bicycle on Poverty Alleviation

Quantitative Field Study-1: Uganda

Organization: Institute for Transportation & Development Policy, Europe

  • Cost-benefit analysis of bike ownership.
  • We gave 300 low-income households in diverse parts of Uganda discounted bikes and a one-time instruction on how to use the time they saved to work on related activities.


  • All households either increased the amount of land used for farming or improved their farming methods.
  • About half of all households started or improved non-farming activities during the survey period, which helped diversify their household income.
  • Each household saved nearly two hours of transportation time per day, enabling.
  • Them to visit markets and medical facilities more often.
  • The household income increased by 35%.

Quantitative Field Study-2: Tanzania

Organization: International Labour Office

  • The Integrated Rural Transport Project in Makete District, Tanzania was conducted because it was understood that “Roads Are Not Enough.”
  • A survey was conducted among approximately 100 households to assess the impact of owning bicycles.


  • Bicycles have a significant impact on production by enabling farmers to cultivate larger fields and use more fertilizer.
  • Households with bicycles marketed 40% more than comparable households without non-motorized transportation.
  • Bicycles provide monetary benefits equal to 55% of a household’s income.
  • The primary barrier to purchasing a bicycle is the high cost.
  • 80-90% of households that desire a non-motorized transportation cannot afford the price.

Quantitative Field Study-3: Srilanka

Organization: World Bicycle ReliefUSA.

  • After the tsunami, 24,000 bicycles were distributed for free.
  • We surveyed 221 bicycle owners to assess the impact.


  • More than two years after the tsunami, 88% of respondents still use bicycles as a means of livelihood.
  • Bicycles are cost-effective as compared to other transportation alternatives, saving between 10 and 20 percent of the household’s annual income.
  • In the poorest households, bicycles save as much as 30 percent of the annual income, which contributes significantly to livelihood security.
  • Distribution of bicycles has successfully empowered women, with 82% of female recipients using them for generating income.
    Bicycles save 18% of a recipient’s average monthly income of $71 by replacing alternative transportation costs.
  • If time saved by using a bicycle is utilized for productive work, an additional income of $0.52/day can be produced, resulting in over a 17% increase.
  • While this survey did not calculate the cost savings of a bike recipient’s ability to reach regional markets, other surveys indicate additional significant cost savings.