Virtual Workshop on "Informal" Public Transit

Workshop on "Informal" Public Transit


Date: Thursday, May 20, 2021
Time: 7:00am - 12:00pm ET

Register here

In developing cities, particularly small-to-medium size ones, “informal” public transport or “paratransit” is the main means of personal transportation. The informal public transport sector provides irreplaceable and usually affordable mobility and access, particularly for the poor. It is also a significant source of employment, particularly for migrants from rural areas without the skills or connections to get other jobs. At the same time, the sector suffers from many problems. The “good and the bad” aspects of informal public transport and the changing context have led to a number of questions, such as:   

  • What are the informal public transport sector’s service patterns, operations and business models that cause the issues noted above?
  • What are the advantages of informal public transport in a developing city context?
  • In the future, what is the best role/function of informal public transport or paratransit as one in a family of transit modes?
  • How can the public sector ensure the sustainability of public transit financially and strategically in the new world of social distancing and health requirements?
  • How can the sector be improved or “reformed” through legal, regulatory, and other government-initiated actions?
  • What is the potential for various communications and information digital technologies to address the sector’s shortcomings?

This workshop will explore these questions in view of the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and new technologies. 

The workshop will begin with a background presentation on the myths and realities of “informal” public transport, including critical definitions based on the recent report Myths and Realities of "Informal" Public Transport in Developing Countries: Approaches for Improving the Sector. Next, 4 case-studies (30 minutes each) will be presented with time for discussion and Q/A for each. The presentation and discussion of case studies will be followed by an interactive panel discussion that will synthesize lessons learned from the case studies presented along with suggestions for follow up capacity building activities. 

Case study speakers

  • Dario Hidalgo - World Resources Institute
  • Dayo Montalbo - University of Philippines
  • Dayo Mobereola - Almacht Inc., LMATA
  • Gershwin Fortune - City of Cape Town

Presentations and discussions will be delivered in English, with live translation to French available.