Original Research

Tuk-tuk, ‘new kid on the block’ in Johannesburg: Operational and user travel characteristics, competition and impacts

Tatenda C. Mbara
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 10, No 1 | a214 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v10i1.214 | © 2016 Tatenda C. Mbara | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 2015 | Published: 29 January 2016

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Tatenda C. Mbara, Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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The three-wheeler tuk-tuk, popular in Asian cities is now a common feature in many cities worldwide, across all five continents. Their growth has been attributed to their distinctive flexibility, stylistic simplicity and modest operational costs. In Johannesburg, the tuk-tuk represents a relatively new mode of public transport which stemmed from suggestions made by the local area residents association and other stakeholders to revamp the neighbourhood. The objective of the paper is to determine the operational and user travel characteristics of tuk-tuks as well as assessing their impacts. In Johannesburg, where competition from private transport operators can result in serious confrontation, the paper ascertains whether tuktuks pose a threat to other operators. Data was collected through telephonic interviews and electronic questionnaires. The results reveal that the tuk-tuk has filled a public transport gap by providing a much needed ‘first mile’/‘last mile’ service to community members.


Operational and user characteristics, competition, impacts


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