The Organization and Future of the Matatu Industry in Nairobi, Kenya

Author(s): Graeff, Jennifer
All authors:
Graeff, J.
Host organisation: CoE New York, USA
Country: Kenya
Publication year: 2010
Published in:
Under review
Research theme: Change Processes and Institutional Innovation, Mobility and Access, Public Transport
public transport developement, Kenya, paratransit transports
Research article
This working paper is an analysis of the matatu industry’s operations and offers a discussion of how its structure and networks may pose obstacles but also opportunities for transport reform in Nairobi, Kenya. Matatus are the informal paratransit industry in Kenya that provide service to millions of people a day and are essentially the backbone of the transportation system in Nairobi. By facilitating a broader policy dialogue involving key stakeholders in the industry and the inclusion of the matatu industry in the reform process, rather than the exclusion of the industry so often seen in the past, this paper argues that matatus can play an important role in the creation of a more comprehensive transit system that would service not only Nairobi, but its satellite cities as well.
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