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© Dan Freeman
Knowledge Brief

Key insights into transforming the informal transport sector

  • Global
  • Customer service excellence
  • Funding and financing
  • Integrated mobility
  • On-demand

A vital sector for millions

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, transport ridership has dropped by 90% across many cities around the world.

Informal transport, a major form of transport in many cities and vital to urban life, has been equally impacted. In some African cities it represents 90% of the transport supply, and operators are now estimating revenue losses between 50-70%.

Yet, through lack of political will and the scattered landscape of transport stakeholders, it is difficult to set up a financial mechanism that supports this dynamic sector.

With such a key sector now struggling to survive the health crisis, UITP has set the groundwork for understanding the necessary transformation process which will benefit all stakeholders.

Consolidating the knowledge of experts and practitioners

Our Knowledge Brief, ‘Key insights into transforming the informal transport sector, consolidates the analysis and results of three webinars which took place in the second half of 2020 and an extensive Report, all with a specific focus on the informal transport industry. It highlights some characteristics, strengths and weaknesses, and reinforces the case for transforming the sector. Case studies offer insights into how authorities can practically integrate different providers with more ‘formalised’ transport and develop technological innovations for safer passenger experiences.

What’s more, the publication outlines 10 key takeaway questions based on discussions with experts and practitioners which will frame how to advance in the future.

Informal transport will continue to be part of the mobility landscape, and one which can be more resilient when in coexistence with regulated transport as one mobility system.

Sustainable change can happen with strong leadership, collaboration of all relevant stakeholders and the time to develop skills to manage and advocate change. Informal transport is not an industry which should be neglected.

Are you a UITP member?

Informal transport is a topic which will be discussed at the upcoming MENA Congress and Exhibition in Dubai, 29-31 March. For more information on the programme and to register,

And get up to speed with what is happening in the region by reading our


We would like to thank the World Bank, SSATP and the members of the Informal Transport Working Group for their involvement in the webinars and Report. Find out what our informal transport members are working on here!

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