Formalization of East Jerusalem public transport: Mobility, politics and planning


Tamara Kerzhner

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - asia, place - urban, mode - bus, mode - paratransit, organisation - regulation, planning - service level, planning - service improvement, planning - safety/accidents, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - service quality, planning - integration


Informal transport, Formalization, Paratransit, Divided cities, Jerusalem


The integration and reform of small-scale public transport operators, often known as informal transport or paratransit, is increasingly a priority in managing urban mobility. In Jerusalem, city and national transport authorities have been working with Palestinian bus operators in East Jerusalem for over 20 years in an incremental formalization process that has seen both successes and ongoing challenges. Drawing on in-depth interviews with operators, regulators and community stakeholders, this study finds that the unification of small operators with long historical territories plays an important role in reform and service improvement. Operators and regulators are able to collaborate in order to improve services for passengers in areas such as safety, vehicle quality and some infrastructures. However, reforming route networks and enforcing level of service of remains difficult. In the context of Israel's ethnocratic municipal regime, the politics of reform are bounded in the history of the conflict, but also tied to bottom-up relationships between operators and communities.


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


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