Integrating para- and scheduled transit: Minibus paratransit operators' perspective on reform in Cape Town

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - africa, place - urban, mode - bus rapid transit, mode - paratransit, literature review - literature review, operations - service span, operations - scheduling, planning - integration, planning - surveys


Hybrid network, Paratransit, Minibus-taxi, Modal integration service span, Bus rapid transit


Cities across the Global South have sought to replace minibus paratransit with contracted scheduled services, typically bus rapid transit, with limited success, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Cape Town, planners have now acknowledged a continued role for paratransit services, primarily as feeders. However, service incompatibilities arise when scheduled and unscheduled modes meet, most evidently in the form of mismatched service spans. This study explored interventions aimed at addressing mismatched evening service spans, considering paratransit operator acceptability and cost to the city authority. Drawing from a stated choice survey of (n = 79) vehicle drivers, and structured focus group discussions and qualitative interviews with (n = 16) vehicle owners, a multi-criteria analysis was conducted of seven potential interventions identified from literature review and expert interviews. Apart from an increase in evening fare which is limited by passenger affordability and a matter for paratransit associations to decide, the interventions that emerge as most promising for the city authority to consider are an operating deficit payment, in conjunction with improved terminal security. These interventions are less costly and require fewer onerous changes from status quo operations, than previous plans to eliminate paratransit through corporatization. By implementing these alternatives, limited government budgets could be spent more effectively to benefit more city residents more quickly.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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