oa Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management - Multi-stakeholder dialogue on formal and informal forms of public transport in Harare, Zimbabwe : convergence or divergence perspective : original research
Cities in the developing world are growing both geographically and demographically. This growth has increased pressure on services, including the public transport systems used by the majority of people. In the last two decades public transport provision has undergone considerable changes. Concomitant to these changes there has been debate on the form of public transport to be operated. Such debate has been informal, general, and at times academic, and therefore not able to provide substantive understanding of the views of key stakeholders. Zimbabwe has had an explosion of informal transport activity in the form of minibuses, and decision makers appear to be in a policy dilemma because of a need to strike a balance between maximising passenger welfare whilst protecting the livelihoods of indigenous minibus operators and striving to build an efficient and environmentally sound urban transport system. Critical questions for policy dialogue in this conundrum include, inter alia: How do stakeholders perceive the current public transport system? How can public transport be sustainably provided? This study seeks to answer these questions using a case study of Harare. A qualitative research approach blended with some quantitative aspects was used. Initial steps involved the identification and clustering of key urban public passenger transport stakeholders, followed by structured and unstructured interviews. Although there is lack of consensus on the form of public transport that the City of Harare should adopt, there is a strong view that a mass transit system is the backbone of sustainable public transport.
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