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Motorcycle taxis, extended lockdown and inequality at work in Kampala, Uganda

Mallett, Richard, Asingura, Lillian, Ndhogezi, Geofrey, Byarugaba, Disan and Sseviiri, Hakimu (2022) Motorcycle taxis, extended lockdown and inequality at work in Kampala, Uganda. Urban Forum. ISSN 1015-3802

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s12132-022-09468-6


After two years of extended lockdown, Kampala’s vast workforce of motorcycle taxi riders today looks a little different. Though the sector has long constituted a vital source of labour and income for many thousands of urban residents cut off from more decent opportunities elsewhere in the economy, a recent combination of lockdown pressures and digital transitions has created new forms of dependency upon the sector whilst simultaneously stripping some old ones away. In this article, we draw on in-depth qualitative data from interviews with riders, carried out at different stages of the pandemic, to show how the composition of labour within the sector has been reworked by a series of ‘selective exits’ and ‘substitution effects’ over the past two years. In exploring the nature and nuances of these parallel movements, our analysis not only reveals considerable socio-economic unevenness within the city’s motorcycle taxi sector itself but also sheds light on a new, broader configuration of urban inequality in the making.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2022 11:42
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 18:57

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