Traffic congestion is a common phenomenon in the capital city. According to a World Bank study, congestion eats up 3.2 million work hours in the city every day. Over the last decade, the average traffic speeds has dropped from 21km per hour to 7km/h which is slightly faster than the average walking speed. Against the backdrop of the city’s unbearable traffic snarl, motorbikes offer an affordable mode of transport.
As bikes are comparatively cheaper and easier to maintain as well as faster to navigate with other vehicles, Dhaka city has witnessed a significant rise in their number. People in greater number are purchasing bikes to get relief from the city’s intolerable traffic congestion. Since 2010, the number has more than doubled in the populous city alone. Bikes are also becoming a source of income for lots of unemployed youths who use them to transport daily commuters regularly. However, not only in the capital city, bikes have gained popularity in other parts of the country too. At a single village, 10 to 20 motorbikes are a common sight now. This has been possible due to sharp rise in people’s purchasing power.In recent times, the market demand of the two-wheeler has increased manifold. What is most encouraging to note is that 80 per cent of them are now being produced locally. In the process, the country’s motorcycle industry has expanded rapidly. Presently, over 15 motorcycle brands are running the heart-throb business countrywide. Virtually, a revolution has been created in this particular sector. The rising middle class has been a significant driving force behind the industry’s phenomenal rise. More and more, the world’s giant companies are coming forward to do business in joint ventures with local industries.
Meanwhile, the government has raised the import duties of imported bikes in a bid to protect the domestic motorcycle industries. As to why, the demand for locally-produced bikes have increased significantly. At the same time, new export markets have opened up. Now, a rise in export opportunities has been created in countries like India, Nepal and some African regions. The present scenario gives a ray of hope to the local industry.