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Thursday, May 6, 2021
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Motorbike taxis used to elude Sanaa traffic, support shrinking incomes

In Yemen’s busy capital, commuters have skipped using cars and instead are opting for motorcycles as a cheaper and faster alternative to getting around the city.

Both drivers and riders facing an acute lack of cash flow now resort to the two-wheeled vehicles that can easily speed between cars lining up in traffic and is lighter on the wallet.

Thirty-eight-year-old Adnan al-Ashkhaf is like many Yemenis who have lost their jobs because of the ongoing war between the Iran-allied Houthis and a Saudi-led Arab coalition. He gathered what funds he could muster and invested in a motorcycle, which he uses as a taxi to transport people quickly in Sanaa’s congested streets.

Motorcycles flood Sanaa’s streets and the Director General of Sanaa’s traffic department, Mujeeb al-Omari, believes they are the root of the city’s traffic problems.

“We see that motorcycle drivers are the main reason for traffic problems in the city. First of all, they distract the flow of traffic because of the sheer number of bikes, it reaches 150 or 160 thousand bikes inside Sanaa,” he said.

The war has killed tens of thousands of people and caused what the United Nations says is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with millions facing famine.

(Production: Abdulrahman Ansi, Adel Khadr, Abdelhadi Ramahi, Tarek Fahmy)

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