Reading Development

Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo

This Is What Informal Transit Looks Like When You Actually Map It

As transit systems go, the “matatus” in Nairobi exist somewhere between underground gypsy cabs and MTA bus service. The minibuses themselves aren’t owned by any government agency. The fares aren’t regulated by the city. The routes are vaguely based on a bus network that existed in Nairobi some 30 years ago, but they’ve since shifted and multiplied and expanded at the region’s edges. This sounds like controlled chaos, although it more or less describes how transit works in much of the world outside of North America and Europe. But amid the 130 or so unregulated matatu lines in metro Nairobi, there’s an admirable logic. In the absence of a formal public transit system in Kenya’s capital, people have created a comprehensive – if imperfect – one on their own.

[Read article and see maps in the CityLab website]

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This entry was posted on Monday, 10 August 2015 by in Urban issues and tagged , , .
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