Original Research

Informal public transport driver behaviour and regulatory policy linkage: An expose

Smart Dumba
Journal of Transport and Supply Chain Management | Vol 11 | a315 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jtscm.v11i0.315 | © 2017 Smart Dumba | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 April 2017 | Published: 29 September 2017

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Smart Dumba, Department of Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

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Background: Literature on the negative socio-economic and environmental externalities generated by informal public transport (IPT) in developing countries is vast, vibrant and growing fast. These externalities include but are not limited to noise, air and land pollution, accidents and, more importantly, a source of congestion (human and vehicular) because of poor driver behaviour. In this article, the research does not seek to reinstate these, but rather, it argues that poor driver behaviour is a dependent variable to some regulatory policy stimuli. Yet, an extensive literature survey has shown that the driver behaviour and urban transport regulation linkage remain little explored.

Objective: The purpose of this article was to unpack the relationship between informal public transport driver behaviour and the prevailing regulatory framework.

Method: Based on a case study of Harare, Zimbabwe, the researcher adopted a mixed-methods paradigm and interrogated the prevailing urban public transport regulatory regimes and applied professional judgement, oral interviews backed by some quantitative data and relate these to obtaining IPT driver behavioural characteristics.

Results: Poor driver behaviour exhibited by IPT were generated, exacerbated and or eased by the prevailing regulatory policy. This is well depicted through an IPT driver behaviour and regulation loop reinforcing diagram.

Conclusion: Following this argument, the article cautions policy makers and urban managers alike that direct approaches and interventions when trying to regulate IPT poor driver behaviour and its secondary negative effects will be futile as long as the regulatory policy remains the same. Failure to recognise and connect the dots between IPT driver behaviour and policy partly explains why globally, the IPT sector has proved difficult in prohibiting, restructuring or even formalising it.


driver behaviour; informal; public transport; kombi; pirate taxi; policy; regulation


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