Travel Behaviour and Barriers to Active Travel among Adults in Yaoundé, Cameroon
The literature on urban travel behaviour in Africa is sparse, limiting our understanding of how urban transport policies respond to human and planetary needs. We conducted a cross-sectional household telephone survey on 1334 participants, using a 24 h time-use diary, to investigate travel behaviour and barriers to active travel (walking and cycling) in Yaoundé, Cameroon. We found that two-thirds of all participants reported at least one trip; the median (IQR) numbers of trips per capita and per participant with trips were 2 (0−3) and 2 (2−3), respectively. The main trip modes were shared taxi (46%), walking (27%), private cars (11%), and motorcycle taxis (10%), with 25%, 56%, and 45% of all participants reporting the use of active, motorised, and public transport, respectively. The mean (IQR) trip duration was 48 (30−60) min; for participants who reported trips, the daily overall and active travel durations were 121 (60−150) and 28 (0−45) min, respectively. Women were less likely to travel, making fewer and shorter trips when they did. Participants in less wealthy households were more likely to travel. The primary barriers to both walking and cycling were the fear of road traffic injuries and the inconvenience of active travel modes. Therefore, local urban transport authorities need to improve the safety and convenience of active mobility and promote gender equity in transport. Restrictions to movements during the COVID-19 pandemic and the relatively small survey sample might have biased our results; thus, a representative travel survey could improve current estimates. More generally, high-quality research on travel behaviours and their correlates is needed in low-resource settings.
Funder: National Institute for Health Research; Grant(s): GHR: 16/137/34