Most public transit in emerging economies is provided by informal minibuses. These small businesses play a critical role meeting the mobility needs of the world's poorest and provide jobs for families emerging from poverty. People-Oriented Cities recpartnered with ITDP to produce a guide to help modernize the industry.
Small individual owner-operators of minibuses have a critical livelihood and their vehicles are sometimes part of a city's culture and character. But to the operators, they are often trapped in a regulatory grey area that exposes them to extortion from protection rackets and bureaucrats, making it impossible for their business to thrive. Meanwhile, passengers face inconvenience from irregular services limited to a particular territory, danger from risky driver behaviors, and sometimes dangerous infighting among operators for market share.
A BRT or bus route restructuring effort is an opportunity to change the public transit business model. If done well, the existing operators will thrive in a safer business environment with regular working hours and income. If done poorly, they could lose their livelihood.
People-Oriented Cities is helping informal operators associations and city governments modernize the transit industries to the benefit of all.
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