Estimating the demand for informal public transport: evidence from Antananarivo, Madagascar


Atsushi Iimi

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - urban, place - africa, mode - other, planning - personal safety/crime, planning - surveys, policy - congestion, policy - fares, ridership - behaviour, ridership - demand


Informal public transport, Urban transport, Demand analysis


Informal public transport has been growing rapidly in many developing countries. Because urban infrastructure development tends to lag behind rapid population growth, informal public transport often meets the growing gap between demand and supply in urban mobility. Despite the rich literature primarily focused on formal transport modes, the informal transport sector is relatively unknown. The paper analyzes the demand behavior in the “informal” minibus sector in Antananarivo, Madagascar, taking advantage of a recent user survey of thousands of people. It is found that the demand for informal public transport is generally inelastic. Essentially, people have no other choice but to use this kind of public transport. While the time elasticity is estimated at − 0.02 to − 0.05, the price elasticity is − 0.05 to − 0.06 for short-distance travelers, who may have alternative choices, such as motorcycle taxi or walking. Unlike formal public transportation, the demand also increases with income. Regardless of the income level, everyone uses minibuses. The estimated demand functions indicate that people prefer safety and more flexibility in transit. The paper shows that combining these improvements and fare adjustments, the informal transport sector can contribute to increasing people’s mobility and reducing traffic congestion in the city.


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