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Shared taxis in Wikipedia - Latin America

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  • Eric Britton
    I would like to thank all of you who piled into this important Wikipedia entry for adding information on shared taxi nomenclature and a bit of background on
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 15, 2007

      I would like to thank all of you who piled into this important Wikipedia entry for adding information on shared taxi nomenclature and a bit of background on Latin American practices. We now have initial entries from Brazil, Chile, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Mexico, Peru and Puerto Rico That's a good start.

      But we are missing (a) entries from the other countries in the region, and (b) in most of the above cases we could do with a para or two of background information showing the role they are playing. The initial entries were largely oriented to Africa and as a result that introductory text reflects this. It should I would suggest be amended and added to in order to provide a more comprehensive view, since Latins American practices are much more varied and often much more sophisticated.

      This is important in my view since this kind of mobility is going to see a lot more development in the future, in a form which, to generalise, we call xTransit. And thus it will be important that planner, ploicy makers and others understand that there is a lot more to this than just a careening masses of old bangers being driven to the ground by hopelessly primitive and untrainable  wildmen on the make.  They are a important part fo the future in all our cities, North adn South.

      If you don't have anything immidaely at hand on this, perhap you coupdl copy this note to freinds adn groups who may be able to pitch in.

      As always, kindest thanks.

      Eric Britton

      Share taxi

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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      State / Territory / RegionName used
      Flag of Algeria  AlgeriaTaxi collectif
      Flag of Angola  AngolaCandongueiro
      Flag of Botswana  BotswanaKombi (After VW's Kombi)
      Flag of Brazil  BrazilTáxi lotação, alternativo

      or pau-de-arara

      Flag of Bulgaria  BulgariaMarshrutka (маршрутка)
      Flag of Canada  CanadaJitney

      In Quebec, taxi collectif
      or transport collectif par taxi;
      collective taxi or taxibus

      Flag of Chile  ChileColectivo
      Flag of Democratic Republic of the Congo  Congo (DRC)Taxibus
      Flag of Dominican Republic  Dominican RepublicConcho, Público
      Flag of Estonia  EstoniaLiinitakso or marsruuttakso
      Flag of Ethiopia  EthiopiaMinibus taxi
      Flag of Germany  GermanySammeltaxi
      Flag of Ghana  GhanaTro-tro
      Flag of Haiti  HaitiTap-Tap Cab
      Flag of Hong Kong  Hong KongEnglish: Public light bus or minibus
      Chinese: 公共小型巴士 or 小巴
      Flag of Indonesia  IndonesiaBemo, Colt, Oplet or Mikrolet
      Flag of India  IndiaShared taxi, Six-seater auto,

      Eight-seater auto, Phat-a-Phat, Polaamboo

      Flag of Israel  IsraelMonit Sherut
      Flag of Kenya  KenyaMatatu
      Flag of Lebanon  LebanonSarfis (سرفيس)
      Flag of Lithuania  LithuaniaMaršrutinis taksi
      Flag of Mali  MaliSotrouma
      Flag of Mexico  Mexico (DF)Pesero and Combi,

      which is larger than a pesero

      Flag of Nigeria  NigeriaMolue or Danfo
      Flag of Pakistan  PakistanLocal Van or Vagon
      Flag of Peru  PeruCombi
      Flag of Philippines  PhilippinesJeepney
      Flag of Poland  PolandBus, busik, minibus, mikrobus, nyska
      Flag of Puerto Rico  Puerto RicoGuagua
      Flag of Romania  RomaniaMaxi-taxi
      Flag of Russia  RussiaMarshrutka (маршрутное такси,

      or маршрутка)

      Flag of Rwanda  RwandaTaxi or Twegerane
      Flag of Senegal  SenegalCar Rapide
      Flag of Sierra Leone  Sierra LeonePoda-poda
      Flag of Singapore  SingaporeMinibus
      Flag of South Africa  South AfricaMinibus-taxi or Teksi
      Flag of Syria  SyriaSarfis (سرفيس)
      Flag of Tanzania  TanzaniaDala-dala
      Flag of Thailand  ThailandSongthaew
      Flag of Tunisia  TunisiaLouage
      Flag of Turkey  TurkeyDolmuş-minibüs
      Flag of Uganda  UgandaKamunye, Matatu or Taxi
      Flag of Ukraine  UkraineMarshrutka (маршрутка)
      Flag of United States  United StatesJitney or dollar van
      Flag of Uzbekistan  UzbekistanMarshrutka (маршрутка)
      Flag of Venezuela  VenezuelaPor puesto
      Flag of Zimbabwe  ZimbabweCommuter 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.



      [edit] 1 Types of vehicle

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

      [edit] 2 Operation

      [edit] 2.1 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.
      A minibus share taxi in Cameroon.
      A minibus share taxi in Cameroon.
      A row of minibus share taxis waiting to depart  in Kigali, Rwanda.
      A row of minibus share taxis waiting to depart in Kigali, Rwanda.

      [edit] 2.2 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.

      [edit] 2.3 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.

      [edit] 3 Features in individual countries / territories

      [edit] 3.1 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.

      [edit] 3.2 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.

      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.

      [edit] 3.3 Bush taxi (West and Central Africa)

      A Toyota Corolla estate bush taxi.
      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.

      [edit] 3.4 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.

      [edit] 3.5 Dolmuş (Turkey)

      A Dolmuş
      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 work on a fixed fee system: whatever the distance, passengers pay a set amount (around 1 YTL within cities, more for longer rural routes). 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 Dolmus is one of them, which is rapidly becoming a common name for both systems. In the traditional manner the Dolmuses 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 right hand side shows a typical minibus. They are much cheaper and much easier to get access, because the streets are full of them. Other than the very true fact that they cause problems in the streets, they are the only way to go from one place to another for most cases.

      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, and the only form of mass transit running 24 hours a day in Turkey.

      [edit] 3.6 Jeepney (Philippines)

      A colorful jeepney
      A colorful jeepney

      See Main article: Jeepney

      [edit] 3.7 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.

      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. [3] 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.

      [edit] 3.7.1 (Quebec)

      In Quebec share taxis or jitneys are called "taxis collectifs" [4] (in English "collective taxis" [5]) or "Transport collectif par taxi" [6]} (in English "Taxibus" [7]) and are operated by subcontractors to the local transit authorities [8] [9] [10] [11] 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 [12]. In case of the STL only monthly passes are accepted [13] [14]. The Réseau de transport de Longueuil accepts regular RTL tickets and all RTL and TRAM passes (zone 3 and up) [15].

      [edit] See also


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