IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Engaging paratransit on public transport reform initiatives in South Africa: A critique of policy and an investigation of appropriate engagement approaches

Listed author(s):
  • Schalekamp, Herrie
  • Behrens, Roger
Registered author(s):

    A number of South African cities are planning integrated public transport networks that rely on the introduction of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), in line with similar trends to expand or upgrade public transport services in emerging and industrialised urban transport markets around the globe. In addition, BRT in South Africa is being used as a mechanism to drive reform in the dominant yet highly fragmented paratransit sector, inspired by similar processes particularly in Latin American cities such as Bogotá, Mexico City, and Santiago de Chile. Thousands of paratransit operators would have to formalise their businesses, or merge into new or existing operator entities in order to participate in the new systems. There is, however, an absence of accessible business plans and regulatory regime proposals around which paratransit can be engaged to convince it to alter its current modus operandi. A large number of national, regional and local paratransit groupings have furthermore indicated their resistance to the planned networks on the grounds of insufficient consultation, an unclear future role in the system and employee redundancies. Should this deadlock not be resolved, it seems unlikely that the planned networks will be realised in the proposed timeframes, if indeed at all. This paper investigates the South African passenger transport policy framework that has contributed to the current deadlock, and explores appropriate approaches to engaging paratransit operators on a system of contracting, competition and ownership that recognises the sector's aspirations and fragmented nature, yet contributes towards improved passenger transport services. It is the authors' view that paratransit reform is a highly context-specific process, even at the sub-city level, and that this could prevent transferring paratransit regulatory and integration approaches across countries, and even cities in the same country, without adaptation to local conditions.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research in Transportation Economics.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 371-378

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:eee:retrec:v:29:y:2010:i:1:p:371-378
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Postal:

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Cervero, Robert, 2001. "Informal Transit: Learning from the Developing World," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt9z37m0t1, University of California Transportation Center.
    2. Walters, Jackie, 2008. "Overview of public transport policy developments in South Africa," Research in Transportation Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 98-108, January.
    3. Cervero, Robert, 1992. "Paratransit in Southeast Asia: A Market Response to Poor Roads?," University of California Transportation Center, Working Papers qt6533b9wk, University of California Transportation Center.
    4. Barrett, Jane., 2003. "Organizing in the informal economy : a case study of the minibus taxi industry in South Africa," ILO Working Papers 993581583402676, International Labour Organization.
    5. repec:ilo:ilowps:358158 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Sohail, M. & Maunder, D.A.C. & Cavill, S., 2006. "Effective regulation for sustainable public transport in developing countries," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 177-190, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:retrec:v:29:y:2010:i:1:p:371-378. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.