Learning Guide
September 21, 2020
Author(s): Thet Hein Tun and Darío Hidalgo

Toward Efficient Informal Urban Transit

September 21, 2020

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View from above of a lot filled with parked minibuses, billboards, vendors and other people.

This guide will help users:​

  • Understand the definition and characteristics of informal urban transit systems or “paratransit.”1
  • Recognize the importance of these systems in providing equitable transportation to underserved areas.
  • Understand how these systems have evolved in Sub-Saharan African, Latin American, and Asian cities, as well as in developed countries.
  • Realize that although there are no global best practices, informal transit systems can be improved by better integration into citywide services.

1 In Sub-Saharan Africa and some other developing countries, informal transit is called “paratransit,” meaning beyond standard transit. In the United States, paratransit refers to demand-responsive services that carry a person, often elderly or disabled, from door-to-door, which are not considered in this learning guide. 

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