Informal transit encompasses a range of vehicle capacity, vehicle types (two/three-wheelers, motorized or non-motorized), and different schedule and coverage patterns. In developing countries, it is also called paratransport, or “beyond” the formal transit system.
Informal systems fill a gap in the formal transport systems provided by governments.
Many urban systems, including informal systems, are path-dependent: the past development trajectory will likely illuminate the future.
The histories of Sub-Saharan African, Latin American, and Asian cities show the emergence and importance of informal transit systems and indicate how they might move forward.
Informal systems are ubiquitous in developing countries, and are recently popular in high-income cities in developed countries.
Urban governments can benefit by coordinating and fostering safe, efficient informal transit systems.