Part of: Toward Efficient Informal Urban Transit



  • 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.