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Actions for clean, affordable and safe ‘informal’ public transport

Having taken a look at the structure of the IPT sector and its relationship with public authorities (in relation to regulation and wider engagement), in this section we cover five main categories of actions that could be taken to improve IPT services. Examples of these actions are provided where possible, together with related experiences and perspectives from the TRANSITIONS case cities.


Given the emphasis on providing clean and affordable mobility for all citizens, an infrastructure investment strategy supporting the role of IPT services could be expected to focus on getting the basics right: comfort and safety for passengers, together with priority measures on the highway for shared mobility.

Ongoing application of route licensing is seen as a fundamental tool for working with IPT operators, ensuring that those that comply with this form of network management benefit from the intended improvements (i.e. reduced competition and congestion around terminals).

Newer vehicles, regular maintenance practices, and cleaner sources of energy can all contribute to limiting environmental emissions and related harmful health impacts from IPT operations. In addition, improved driving behaviour on the part of IPT drivers can have a positive impact not only on such emissions, but also on passenger safety.

Understanding informal transport as a commercial business, as well as how different business and operational models influence driver behaviour, provides insights on how supporting actions for IPT may bring about positive change.

While many of the improvements called for by informal transport users require hard investments in vehicles or infrastructure (and business model overhauls), the use of digital technologies could open new avenues to transform services and improve passengers’ experience, without requiring very high capital expenditure. 

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