minibus taxi

State / Territory / Region Name used
 AlgeriaTaxi collectif
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Kombi (After VW's Kombi)
 BrazilTáxi lotação, alternativo
 BulgariaMarshrutka (маршрутка)
In Quebec, taxi collectif
or transport collectif par taxi
 ColombiaColectivo, Buseta
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 Dominican RepublicConcho, Público
 EstoniaLiinitakso or marsruuttakso
 EthiopiaMinibus taxi
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Tap-Tap Cab
 Hong KongEnglish: Public light bus or minibus
Chinese: 公共小型巴士 or 小巴
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Bemo, Colt, Oplet or Mikrolet
 IndiaShared taxi, Six-seater auto, Eight-seater auto, Phat-a-Phat, Polaamboo
 IsraelMonit Sherut
מונית שירו?
 ItalyTaxi collettivo
 KenyaMatatu (Mathree)
 LebanonSarfis (سرفيس)
 LithuaniaMaršrutinis taksi
 MalaysiaPempena Executive Taxi
 MexicoColectivo, Rutero, Pesero or Combi, (pesero and combi, usually a small bus)
 MozambiqueChapa (pronounced sha-pa)
 New ZealandShuttle van
 NigeriaMolue or Danfo
 PakistanLocal Van or Vagon
 PhilippinesJeepney or V–Hire ( Vehicle for Hire)
 PolandBus, busik, minibus, mikrobus, nyska
 Puerto RicoGuagua
 RussiaMarshrutka (маршрутное такси, or маршрутка)
 RwandaTaxi or Twegerane
 SenegalCar Rapide
 Sierra LeonePoda-poda
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 SomaliaCaasi, xaajiqamsiin or koostar
 South AfricaMinibus-taxi or Teksi
 SyriaSarfis (سرفيس)
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 Trinidad and TobagoMaxi taxi
 UgandaKamunye, Matatu or Taxi
 UkraineMarshrutka (маршрутка)
 United StatesJitney or dollar van or shuttle service or shared ride Limousine or School bus
 UzbekistanMarshrutka (маршрутка)
 VenezuelaPor puesto
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Commuter Omnibus or Tshova
Many West and Central
African countries,
& Madagascar
Bush taxi (French: Taxi brousse)
Some Latin American
Publicos, colectivos

A share taxi is a mode of transport that falls between private transport and conventional bus transport, with a fixed route, but the convenience of stopping anywhere to pick or drop passengers, etc. Share taxis often have unfixed time schedules. Another type of share taxi has no fixed route. The difference with a regular taxicab is the fact that the taxi is shared.

Share taxis are the main system of public transport in many countries (especially developing countries). They are known by different names in different countries (see table).

Share taxis are an important form of mobility (and job creation) in many parts of the world but are by and large poorly understood and not well integrated into the overall transportation projects of cities and regions.

In part this is the case because they are privately owned and have an operating style which does not lend itself to regulation or central control. They also often create problems that are due to the ways in which they are driven and the conditions of their almost always old, polluting and often dangerous vehicles. Over the last few years the attitudes of planners and policy makers is beginning to look on them as solutions as well as sources of problems. This interest is also starting to take shape in the more advanced economies which are looking more closely at movement solutions which are better than an average of 1.2 people per vehicles as is the case with the private car.

Types of vehicle

Share taxis come in various vehicle types, including minibuses, midibuses, covered pickup trucks, station wagons, or lorries.


Vehicle ownership

Share taxis are operated under two main models:
  • Operated by a company, or subcontracted by a public transit authority. [1] [2] Often, individual vehicles are owned by individual drivers but operate under the same company name. Alternatively, the cars are owned by a single company that pays the drivers.
  • Private vehicles. These tend to be more overloaded than company vehicles, sometimes with passengers sitting on the roof, on the bonnet, and in the boot. They are usually owned by individuals, who do not involve themselves in the day-to-day running of the taxi. Instead they either employ a driver and a conductor, who maintain and operate the vehicle, or they rent it out for a daily fee, allowing the renter to keep all profits. In some countries these private vehicles are illegal, but often operate anyway, attracting customers with lower prices.
Enlarge picture
A minibus share taxi in Cameroon.
Enlarge picture
A row of minibus share taxis waiting to depart in Kigali, Rwanda.

The terminus

A given share taxi route usually starts and finishes in central locations known as taxi parks, lorry parks, motor parks, garages, autogares, gares routières, or paragems. These are usually located near the centre of a town or near a major market. Larger towns often have several taxi parks, one for each road out or for each major destination. Other towns have no centralised taxi parks, with taxis departing from the roadside. There will also be smaller taxi parks in the suburbs of large towns, which serve as the terminus for urban share taxis to that destinaion.

When passengers arrive at a taxi park, they are often assailed by people known as touts, coti-men, or taxi scouts, whose job is to persuade travellers to use their specific vehicle or taxi company with efforts that range from praising the comfort of their vehicle to promising a quick journey or grabbing baggage and throwing it atop their car. Nevertheless, most share taxis only leave the taxi park after all possible seats have been sold, whether that be a matter of minutes, hours, or days. Taxis headed to more popular destinations thus generally have lower wait times, though such locales are often serviced by more than one company. Travellers often opt for the car with the more passengers, leading some companies to sit employees in cars to make them seem fuller than they really are. The cars sometimes follow a loose schedule, though this is seldom made public.

In some towns and villages, taxis are not affiliated with any particular company and several privately owned cars queue up to travel. Despite the fact that they are all in effect competitors, drivers still wait for other cars to depart before they begin to fill up their own vehicles.

Along the route

Share taxis service most major towns on major roads, though more popular destinations tend to have more cars travelling in and out per day. Ticket prices vary, but rates are often set by the government to take into account road conditions, distances, and time of year. Thus, taxis travelling lower-quality roads tend to be more expensive than those servicing towns on paved routes. In addition, taxis that cross international borders cost even more (and are often illegal). With some vehicles, payment must be made towards the beginning of the journey, while in others it is made after alighting. Passengers can usually purchase a ticket for a reduced price if they wish to get out at another destination on the same route. Luggage, which often includes livestock and produce, is usually placed on top of the vehicle for an extra, negotiable fee (though this fee is often not actually required). The earliest vehicles for most destinations leave between 6 and 9 AM, though more remote locations often leave much earlier.

Once the share taxi leaves the taxi park, it then proceeds along its route. Drivers generally stop to drop passengers wherever they want to alight and to pick up those who flag down the vehicle from the side of the road. Usually the vehicle continues along its route even if it is not always full, although prevarications and long delays are common. Passengers picked up en route pay their fare to the conductor, who rides with the passengers (sometimes in a standing position), opens and closes the door, and handles any extra baggage. The conductor and/or driver remembers exactly which passenger got on where; nevertheless, arguments about the price often take place.

Because of the horrible conditions of many roads in developing countries, share taxi rides are often slow-going and physically demanding. Voyages are also hard on the taxis themselves, and vehicles frequently break down en route. Drivers and mechanics are often experts at repairing vehicles despite a serious lack of proper parts. Trips on share taxis can be quite dangerous, as well, since drivers are pressured to arrive as quickly as possible. This also means that with better road conditions drivers can go at even more dangerous speeds than usual. Other travel hazards sometimes encountered are road bandits and police checkpoints.

Features in individual countries / territories

Black taxi (Northern Ireland)

In some towns in Northern Ireland, notably certain districts in Ballymena, Belfast, Derry and Newry, share taxi services operate using Hackney carriages. These services developed during The Troubles as public bus services were often interrupted due to street rioting. Taxi collectives are closely linked with political groups - those operating in Catholic areas with Sinn Féin, those in Protestant areas with loyalist paramilitaries and their political wings.

Typically, fares approximate to those of Translink operated bus services on the same route. Service frequencies are typically higher than on bus services, especially at peak times, although limited capacities mean that passengers living close to the termini may find it difficult to find a black taxi with seats available in the rush hour.

Texxi (United Kingdom)

Texxi is the first realtime Demand Responsive Transit (DRT) Brokerage in the UK and Europe. Prospective passengers use SMS to text in their destination details to a centralised cluster of machines which aggregate these travel requests and create packages of trips which are then communicated to drivers of hackney cabs. In another mode of operation, "Private Hire" vehicles can be used too. Texxi allows each driver to make more money, each passenger to spend LESS money per trip and offers a real alternative to expensive private transit. In the first phase of operations in Liverpool, the scheme operates only at 12am - 4am Friday and Saturday. Texxi can also be used for shifting large numbers of passengers from events such as Football stadia or Concerts.
Enlarge picture
A Liverpool Hackney Cab Driver.
A similar DRT scheme exists in central and northern Bedfordshire, known as the Dart, using minibusses that can be booked in much the same way as a conventional taxi. Journeys are booked by passengers through the central Travel Dispatch Centre run by the County Council, which uses satellite tracking to monitor all the Dart vehicles and choose which one is best suited to the customer. Concessionary passes are accepted, and passengers may join or leave the service at any point that is convenient and safe to use. As of August 2006 there are four services provided - BedfordDart, NorthBedsDart, EastBedsDart, and Park&Dart.

Bush taxi (West and Central Africa)

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A Toyota Corolla estate bush taxi.
There are three main types of bush taxi (French taxi brousse): the station wagon, the minibus, and the lorry. Many are previously owned vehicles imported from Europe or Japan, while others are assembled from parts in regional centres such as Nigeria or Kenya. The original seating of the vehicles is usually stripped out in order to allocate more and longer benches and thus more passenger space. In addition, more people generally sit on each bench than would be the case in more developed countries. They are often in poor condition, though wealthier countries tend to have better-maintained vehicles.

In the past, most station-wagon bush taxis were modified 1980s-model Peugeot 504s. In some countries they are known as "five-seaters" or "seven-seaters" (French sept-place), but in fact, they may seat nine passengers or more. The cars have three rows of seats. Today, however, other models, such as the Peugeot 505 or the Toyota Corolla have supplanted the 504 in some countries and are gaining ground in others.

Typically two passengers are seated on the front seat next to the driver, and four passengers in each of the two back rows. Sometimes, in particular on less-frequented routes, bush taxis are even more crowded and passenger might even sit on the roof or the trunk. Bush taxis in wealthier countries tend to be less crowded. For example, in Nigeria bush taxis (of both the station wagon or minibus type) are called three-across if only three passenger sit in each row. If four passengers sit in each row the bush taxi is accordingly called four-across.

The minibus (French minicar) is quickly becoming the most common type of bush taxi in West and Central Africa, especially for longer trips. Minibuses are van-like vehicles that may seat between 12 and 20 passengers. Due to the vehicles' larger size, drivers often also employ a helper who rides in the back portion of the vehicle and tells them when to stop to let people off or helps load and unload baggage. Minibuses tend to travel at a slower pace, and they take longer to fill up and to pass through police checkpoints. These vehicles generally charge more than standard buses but less than Peugeot-type bush taxis.

The lorry bush taxi (French bâché) is also sometimes encountered. It is a typical lorry (or truck) with benches along the sides of the bed for passengers. There is often a cover for the bed as well. Routes serviced by lorries often require travel over worse roads and to more remote areas than the other types.

Carro Publico (Dominican Republic)

Carro Publicos (literally "Public Cars") run fixed routes along main roads and throughout bigger cities in the Dominican Republic from the early morning to late night.

In the cities, different routes are designated by letter and number combinations. In other areas, no such designations exist.

Dala-dala (Tanzania)

The origin of the word is attributed to different sources. One is that it is derived from the Swahili word dala, jargon for 'five'. When Daladala made their first appearance in the late 1960s, the standard fare for a trip was five cents. Daladalas are sometimes known as 'Gobole' and more recently, as 'Vipanya'. In Arusha they are commonly called 'Hiace' after the Toyota minibus model most commonly in use (pronounced 'haice'). Many times the Dala-dala are filled with everything from goats to the daily market produce to the latest entrepreneurial venture of the day. People wanting to board must act fast and hold their position to gain access to the shared Dala-dala as everyone is usually fighting for their space.

Toll collectors are termed "mpigadebe" - literally, 'a person who hits iron'. This is in reference to the fact that they are often hitting the roof and side of the van to attract customer attention and to notify the driver when to leave the station.

Dolmuş (Turkey)

Enlarge picture
A Dolmuş

A dolmuş (pronounced DOLE-moosh) is a privately owned vehicle, normally with a capacity of 14 passengers, that runs on set routes within cities. It also runs to and from outlying towns and villages.

Dolmuşes mostly work on a fixed fee system: whatever the distance, passengers pay a set amount for the route, although there can be different prices for different distance groups in larger cities' dolmuşes. Cities have dedicated dolmuş stops as for buses, but on quieter routes a dolmuş may be hailed at any point on the route.

Dolmuş means "stuffed", as they depart not on fixed schedules but when sufficient passengers have boarded. It is customary for the passengers to cooperate in passing fares forward to the driver and passing change back.

There are actually two different share taxi systems in Turkey, and dolmuş is one of them, which is rapidly becoming a common name for both systems. In the traditional manner the dolmuşes are somehow vans providing a relatively comfortable transportation. They are also one of the most expensive mass transport alternatives. Minibuses however, are actually minibuses of 14 - 20 people. The picture on the right hand side shows a typical minibus. They are much cheaper and much easier to get access, because the streets are full of them.

Since rapid transit in Turkish cities is still being developed, a dolmuş is often the only alternative. Dolmuş drivers have a reputation for being aggressive, fearless and rude; and driving dangerously fast without paying attention to traffic rules. However, a dolmuş ride is also considered the only reliable form of rapid transit in Istanbul, for being the only form of mass transit running 24 hours a day.

Jeepney (Philippines)

Enlarge picture
A colorful jeepney
See Main article: Jeepney

Jitney (USA and Canada)

A jitney is a North American English term which originally referred to a livery vehicle intermediate between a taxi and a bus. It is generally a small-capacity vehicle that follows a rough service route, but can go slightly out of its way to pick up and drop off passengers. In many US cities (e.g. Pittsburgh and Detroit), the term jitney refers to an unlicensed taxi cab.

The name jitney comes from the colloquial term for a five-cent piece in the US. The common fare for the service when it first came into use was five cents, so the five-cent cab or jitney cab came to be known for the price charged.

In some US jurisdictions the limit to a jitney is seven passengers. In Rhode Island a jitney license plate is used for all public passenger buses, even for larger ones.

While jitneys are fairly common in many less wealthy countries, such as the Philippines, they have appeared in the past in the U.S. and Canada. The first U.S. jitneys ran in Los Angeles, California in 1914. By 1915, there were 62,000 nationwide. Local regulations, demanded by streetcar companies, killed the jitney in most places. By the end of 1916, only 6,000 jitneys remained. [1] Similarly, in Vancouver, Canada, in the 1920s, jitneys competed directly with the streetcar monopoly, operating along the same routes as the streetcars but charging lower fares. Operators were referred to as "Jitney Men." They were so successful that the city government banned them at the request of the streetcar operators.

Since the oil crisis of 1973-74, jitneys have reappeared in some areas of the United States, particularly inner city areas once served by streetcars and private buses. (An increase in bus fares usually leads to a significant rise in jitney usage.) Liberalization of jitneys is often encouraged by libertarian urban economists, such as Rutgers' James Dunn and USC's Peter Gordon, as a more "market-friendly" alternative to public transportation. However, concerns over fares, insurance liabilities, and passenger safety have kept legislative support for jitneys decidedly tepid. Nevertheless, in New York City, jitneys (known as "dollar vans" because of their original price) are regulated and remain popular especially outside of Manhattan.

Shuttle Service (US)

In many places in the US shuttle services offer shared rides, particularly on popular routes, e.g. from/to the airport. Many Limousine and Sedan companies also offer shared rides. (see e.g. Passengers are picked up and dropped off at various destinations, just like with a cab you get "door to door" service, although the trip may take longer with other people being picked up/ dropped off on the way. Rates are lower than for cabs, even if the driver does not manage to pick up other riders for that particular tour.


In Quebec share taxis or jitneys are called "taxis collectifs"[3] (in English "collective taxis"[4]) or "Transport collectif par taxi"[5] (in English "Taxibus"[6]) and are operated by subcontractors to the local transit authorities[7] [8] [9] [10] on fixed routes. In the case of the STM the fare is the same as the local bus fare, but no cash, and transfers are issued or accepted[11] In case of the STL only monthly passes are accepted.[12] [13] The Réseau de transport de Longueuil accepts regular RTL tickets and all RTL and TRAM passes (zone 3 and up).[14]
See also
  • Montreal taxibus
  • RTL shared taxi

Liinitakso (Estonia)

Share taxis in Estonia are mostly found in Talinn, the capital. They are called liinitakso (the official name), marsruuttakso (an old name but still widely used) or marsa (a slang name).

Marshrutka (Russia, Ukraine and Bulgaria)

See Main article: Marshrutka

Matatu (Kenya)

See also: Transport in Kenya

The origin of the word matatu is ascribed to different sources. One attribution is that it is derived from the Swahili word tatu, meaning three. When matatus made their first appearance in the late 1960s, the standard fare for a trip was thirty cents (three 10 cents coins) shillings.[15] Matatu are sometimes known as 'mathrees' and more recently, as 'mats' in Sheng, Kenya's creolised swahili language. Matatus are mostly Isuzu minibuses; other popular models include the Nissan Caravan and Toyota Hiace.

Until the Kenyan government enforced new laws to regulate the matatu sector, matatu vehicles were characteristically painted colorfully, commonly featuring pictures and caricatures of anything currently in vogue. If, for example, a single by Beyoncé were at Number One, one might easily find a matatu named after her or her song, with her picture prominent on both the inside and outside of the vehicle.

Many Kenyan matatus were also equipped with powerful car audio systems, including high-powered woofers and sub-woofers. Loud music was a popular means of advertising, the theory being that the matatu with the loudest and most fashionable hip-hop or reggae music would appeal to a larger crowd, hence making higher profits.

Unsafe behavior by matatu operators, including speeding and violations of traffic laws, allegedly contributed to increasingly dangerous driving conditions on the streets of Nairobi. For this and other reasons, the government of Kenya implemented laws regulating the matatu industry on 31 January, 2004.

More generally, 'matatu culture' has been characterized by a cut-throat approach to business that emphasizes quick profits. Numerous anti-social practices have allegedly been linked to the matatu business, including:
  • Bribery of traffic policemen
  • Corruption and sexual molestation of young girls by matatu drivers or crew
  • Petty crime: Outright theft from passengers, overcharging, pickpocketing, physical assault, verbal abuse and general intimidation of the travelling public
  • Young men dropping out of school to become touts and drivers

Minibus taxi (Ethiopia)

Minibus taxis in Ethiopia are one of the most important modes of transport in big cities like Addis Ababa. They are preferred by the majority of the populace over public buses and more traditional taxicabs because they are generally cheap, operate on diverse routes, and are available in abundance. All minibus taxis in Ethiopia have a standard blue-and-white coloring scheme, much like the yellow color of New York taxicabs. Minibus taxis are usually Toyota Hiace, but other makes, including Volkswagen Kombis have also been observed. They typically can carry 11 passengers. The minibus driver has a crew member called a "weyala".

To get a ride on a minibus, one has to either go straight to a minibus terminal or hail one that is passing by on the road. In both cases, the weyala will inform potential passengers of the minibus's itinerary simply by shouting out the destination of the minibus. It is the passenger's responsibility to assess the route the minibus is taking with respect to his/her own destination before boarding the minibus. Minibus taxis don't have fixed stops along their route, but instead the passenger is required to inform the weyala, who in turn informs the driver to stop at a desired location.

Despite providing a living for thousands of people and cheap transportation for the masses, minibus taxis have increasingly been making the headlines for all the wrong reasons. In a recent study, minibus taxis were implicated in 85% of all road accidents recorded in metropolitan Addis Ababa. This figure can be attributed to many factors: driving over the speed limit, reckless driving, and the poor maintenance condition of the minibus taxis. Plus, many minibus taxi drivers regularly chew 'chat' (a mild stimulant) to offset fatigue due to their 16-18 hour shifts. This leads them to be aggressive and irritable on the road. Also recently, pickpocketing aboard minibuses is becoming a real problem.

Minibus taxi / Teksi (South Africa)

See related article: Taxi wars in South Africa
Enlarge picture
Cape Town minibus taxi rank

Over 60% of South Africa's commuters use shared minibus taxis (16 seater commuter buses). These vehicles are mostly unsafe and not roadworthy, and often dangerously overloaded. Minibus taxi drivers are well known for their disregard of traffic rules.

Prior to 1987, the taxi industry in South Africa was highly regulated and controlled. Black taxi operators were declined permits in the Apartheid era and all minibus taxi operations were, by their very nature, illegal.

Post 1987, the industry was rapidly deregulated, leading to an influx of new minibus taxi operators, keen to make money off the high demand for this service. Taxi operators banded together to form local and national associations. Because the industry was largely unregulated and the official regulating bodies corrupt, these associations soon engaged in anti-competitive price fixing and exhibited gangster tactics - including the hiring of hit-men and all-out gang warfare. During the height of the conflict, it was not uncommon for taxi drivers to carry shotguns and AK-47's to simply shoot rival taxi drivers and their passengers on sight.

Currently the South African Government is attempting to formalize and re-regulate the out-of-control minibus taxi industry. Along with new legislation, the government has instituted a 7-year recapitalization scheme to replace the old and unroadworthy vehicles with new 18 and 35-seater minibuses.

Public light bus (Hong Kong)

Enlarge picture
A public light bus (left) and a double-decker bus (right) in Hong Kong.
See Main article: Public light bus

Public light buses (Chinese: 公共小型巴士), also known as minibus or maxicab (Chinese: 小巴), run the length and breadth of Hong Kong, through areas which the standard bus lines cannot or do not reach as frequently, quickly or directly. Minibuses carry a maximum of 16 seated passengers; no standing passengers are allowed. Minibuses typically offer a faster and more efficient transportation solution due to their small size, limited carrying capacity, frequency and diverse range of routes, although they are generally slightly more expensive than standard buses. The popularity of public light bus services in Hong Kong is due to the high population densities which are needed to support the extensive network of minibus routes. There are two types of public light minibus, Green minibuses and Red minibuses. Both types have a cream coloured body, the distinguishing feature being the colour of the external roof, and the type of service that the colour denotes.

Shared Taxi (India)

As one example, "Shared taxis- and known just as that – have been operating in Mumbai, India, since the early 1970’s. These are more like a point to point service that operates only during the peak hours. During off peak hours, they ply just like the regular taxis, can be hailed anywhere on the roads, and passengers are charged by the meter. But in order to bridge the gap between demand and supply, during peak hours, several of them operate as Shared Taxis, taking a full cab load of passengers to a more or less common destination. The pick-up points for these taxis are fixed, and are marked by a post that says, “Shared Taxis” and cabs line up at this point during peak hours. They display the general destination they are headed for on their windscreens, and passengers just get in and wait for the cab to fill up. As soon as this happens - which takes less than a couple of minutes - the cab moves off. Fares are a fixed amount – fixed between the Taxi Unions and the authorities for the point to point distance - and are far lower than the metered fare to the same destination, but higher than the bus or train fare. Time taken is obviously much less than that by bus. These taxis are very popular because of the lack of waiting time, faster journey speeds, greater comfort, and absence of the crush loads of peak hour commuter traffic in buses and trains. Generally, the taxi drivers choose the locality that they live in, in the suburbs as the destination in the evenings, and in the mornings, the destinations are always the CBD in South Mumbai."

Sherut (Israel)

Sherut is a Hebrew word meaning "service". It refers to vans which serve as taxis in Israel, that operate on fixed routes, usually similar to bus lines, and take passengers for fixed point-to-point fares, which are similar and sometimes lower than bus fares. Sherut taxis don't have fixed timetable and will normally leave when they fill up with passengers. They are willing to stop at places that aren't designated bus stops if people flag them down or request to get off. In addition, they operate outside of normal bus companies business days, providing a major form of public transportation during weekends and holidays (when no public buses are available).

Tap-Tap Cab (Haiti)

Enlarge picture
Tap-tap cab in Port-au-Prince.
For other images see Tap-tap cab (images).

The Tap-Tap cab serves as mass transportation in Haiti. Urban Tap-Taps are small pick-up trucks with benches and a sun cover, able to manoeuver in heavy traffic. For longer journeys between cities larger trucks and buses are used. Both are elaborately decorated by their owner/drivers, bright spots in the drab streets. They operate over fixed routes, departing only when full. Tapping on the metal panels at the back of the benches signals the chauffeur to stop for a passenger. One can ride a city tap-tap for five Gourdes.

Tro Tro (Ghana)

Tro tro's or just tro's are van-like vehicles, ranging from small minibuses within cities to large vans to go between large cities. typically, within the city, tro-tro's seat about 14 people-two in the front seat, and then three rows of four bench seats, which have a folding partition in order to maximise space. The larger viehicles can seat anywhere up to 26 people, although competition for space and limited routes often means that they will be packed to beyond their limits. The ride is packed and uncomfortable, and there is often a great deal of jostling as people try to get out and in from seats at the back.

The tro-tro's operate on a commission system, meaning that they will try to get as many people aboard as possible. You can pick up a tro-tro along the road, but all cities in Ghana have a main tro-tro station in order for you to find a route to almost anywhere within the country by some means or another, the biggest being Accra's New Tema Station. All tro-tro's operate with a driver and a ride-along 'mate' who's job it is to take money, open and close the door, and lean out the window looking for passengers.

These vehicles are maintained by the driver, and often they are rickety and unreliable, and fairly dangerous, but they remain the main source of transport across the country or within the city for many people, with Ghana lacking a workable railway system. They should not be confused with the 'line' or 'drop' taxi's, which are, like the bush taxi's described above, old cars which will run routes with shared passengers and one driver, or will be available for hire should the traveller pay for it.

Taxi collectif (Algeria)

These are generally sedans, minivans, or sometimes compacts with a capacity of four to nine passengers. The taxi collectif is owned by the driver (who is given a state licence), and must follow a strict route, dropping off and picking up passengers on the way. They usually bear the name of the route on the windshield, and slow down at common taxi stops, which are places where people usually wait for taxis to come.

The passenger pays when he gets off, and the fare depends on the distance he made, calculated according to the distance between common taxi stops, added to a minimum fare. This minimum fare, and the fare from one stop to another is state regulated, but sometimes driver syndicates disagree with the state fares and charge more. However, the fare is always the same from taxi to taxi.

The driver must remember who got in, and when, to be able to get paid accordingly. These taxis are slightly more expensive than buses, but have the advantage of coming more often, and being faster. Also, in villages, these are commonly used to go to nearby cities, and buses have disappeared due to people preferring taxis.

Ordinary taxis, with a meter, are almost non-existent in Algeria. However, there are taxis (often labelled as taxis collectifs, even though they only take passengers to one single destination) at bus terminals, airports and such places which can take one anywhere in the city for 200 Algerian dinars. If the driver judges the destination too far, he will charge extra. The price is negotiable.

Due to the problems posed by taxis collectifs, the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry[16] and US State Department[17] recommend against using them.

Taxi colectivo (México)

Often share-taxi routes in Mexico are ad hoc arrangements to fill in gaps in regular public transportation, (although they may be locally regulated as to fares and routes) and many operate inter-city as well as local routes, in many rural areas, they are the only public transportation. In some cases truck-taxi combination vehicles have evolved to transport light goods as well as passengers. Heavily used share-taxi routes often evolve into regulated microbus public transit routes, as has occurred in Mexico City. See Pesero.


1. ^ [2] STL
2. ^ [3] STM
3. ^ [4]
4. ^ [5]
5. ^ [6]
6. ^ [7]
7. ^ [8]
8. ^ [9]
9. ^ [10]
10. ^ [11]
11. ^ [12]
12. ^ [13]
13. ^ [14]
14. ^ [15]
15. ^ What's a Matatu? RCBowen KENYA page.
16. ^ [16]
17. ^ [17]
  • Burke, Andre, et al (2002). Lonely Planet: West Africa (5th ed.). Victoria: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Hudgens, Jim; and Trillo, Richard (2000). West Africa: The Rough Guide (3rd ed.). London: Rough Guides Ltd.
  • Newton, Alex (1994). Lonely Planet: Central Africa. Victoria: Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd.
  • Google on Shared Taxis

See also

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