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With a chronic lack of employment opportunities, driving a ‘taxi mota’ (motorbike taxi) is both a survival tactic and an urban transport alternative for hundreds of families in Nampula.
For almost five years now, the two-wheeler has gained prominence as a way of helping young people to make a living in Mozambique’s northern province, the third largest in the country.
A ‘taxi mota’ trip costs a minimum of 15 meticais, Américo Saide, 27, told Lusa, and he earns about 1,200 meticais (EUR 17.30 ) a day to support his wife and two children. Another driver, Benedido Januário, is finishing high school thanks to the money he earns driving a motorbike taxi.
The most difficult part is driving on roads that are in poor condition. Adamo Antumane points to his motorcycle and says that “it is difficult” to work, given the poor condition of the roads in Nampula.
“Potholes are common on all the city’s roads and maintenance costs are high,” he told Lusa.
The vast majority of ‘taxi mota’ operators in Nampula work informally, so do not contribute to local authority coffers.
Motorbikes has become a convenient means of transport – cheap and available everywhere and at any time, an advantage over regular public urban transport like the ‘chapas’.
The chapas are limited in number and often shorten their routes so they do not reach certain neighborhoods, Nampula resident Josefa Manieque says, adding: “With a phone call, you can have a táxi mota right outside your house.”
But at the same time that this form of transport increases in popularity, lack of security on the roads is growing apace, with new types of criminals emerging, police spokesman Zacarias Nacute says.
Without advancing specific numbers, Nacute says that there have been several incidents and accidents involving the motorbike taxis.
Josefa, who often uses the service, says drivers should be confident in order to avoid attempted crimes.Source: Lusa