The role of ICT-based innovations in transforming intermediate transport in African cities. The cases of Cape Town, Nairobi, and Addis Ababa

Abstract : Over recent decades, intermediate modes of transport (also known as paratransit, which includes taxis, moto-taxis, collective taxis, ride-hailing services, etc.) have gained momentum in the fast-expanding cities of the developing world. They now commonly are a significant, though often informal, component of mobility systems in these cities. On top of rapid demographic growth, cities in South and East Africa are enjoying higher levels of economic growth and political stability than cities in other Sub-Saharan countries. Such trends translate into a dynamic development of heavy infrastructures, private motorisation as well as mobility innovations of various sorts. Paratransit services –with their intrinsic qualities of innovation-readiness (besides flexibility and labour-intensiveness)– could remain a key element of future, more sustainable urban mobility systems. The main assumption underlying this research is that mobility innovations using Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) could play a significant role in this consolidation process. The paper first presents an overview of the mobility systems of three cities in South and East Africa and their respective ICT background: Cape Town, South Africa (3.7 million residents), Nairobi, Kenya (3.1 million residents), and Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (3.3 million residents). It then analyses the place of intermediate transport modes in each of the three cities. Finally, it presents a set of ICT-based innovations developing in these cities and discusses the role of such innovations in the modernisation, upgrade and expansion of paratransit services. This study combines an extensive review of academic and grey literature with the insights gained from 32 in-depth stakeholder interviews carried out by the authors during a field trip in March-April 2017.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 1:25:46 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 8:41:38 AM

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Virginie Boutueil, Gaele Lesteven. The role of ICT-based innovations in transforming intermediate transport in African cities. The cases of Cape Town, Nairobi, and Addis Ababa. 7th Transport Research Arena TRA 2018, 2018, Vienna, Austria. ⟨halshs-02106843⟩

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