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Jamal, Shaila, Sadia Chowdhury, and K. Bruce Newbold. 2022. “COVID-19 and Modal Shift towards Motorized Two-Wheelers in Dhaka, Bangladesh.” Findings, March. https://doi.org/10.32866/001c.33830.
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  • Figure 1. Total number of vehicles versus motorized two-wheelers and yearwise percentage of motorized two-wheelers among the registered motor vehicles in Bangladesh (Source: BRTA 2022)


Based on in-depth interviews of 17 key informants in Dhaka, Bangladesh, this paper explores the reasons behind the observed modal shift toward motorized two-wheelers that occurred with the COVID-19 pandemic, along with its implications. Analysis of the key informants’ perspectives revealed that individuals’ inclination towards motorized two-wheelers occurs because of maintaining physical distance, lack of walking and bicycling infrastructure, the high social status associated with motorized two-wheelers, and brand promotion. The implications of this modal shift include increased traffic congestion, GHG emission, and traffic incidents. As interviewees suggest, mass communication, understanding users’ perspectives, and promoting equity concepts are needed for a modal shift towards more sustainable options.

Accepted: March 25, 2022 AEST