Integrating the informal with the formal: An estimation of the impacts of a shift from paratransit line-haul to feeder service provision in Cape Town
Case Studies on Transport Policy
Centre for Transport Studies, University of Cape Town, Private Bag x3, Rondebosch, South Africa
Feeder-trunk-distribution service arrangements are a possible means of integrating paratransit services with scheduled services in public transport system reform projects. In such arrangements the transport authority would concentrate on providing or contracting a high capacity trunk service using large vehicles on corridors with the requisite passenger demand, while paratransit operators would be relegated to only providing feeder and distribution services using smaller vehicles in adjacent areas. This paper explores the veracity of a perception amongst paratransit operators in Cape Town that operating feeder services is less lucrative than operating direct services. A public transport cost model is used to explore the implications of such a change in service operation, using cost and travel demand input data currently applicable in Cape Town. The modelling results suggest that individual minibus operators would be more profitable if they only provided feeder/distribution services, but that improved operating efficiencies would come at the cost of a reduction in the required minibus fleet and associated jobs. It is therefore concluded that if a feeder-trunk-distribution scheme is pursued as a means of integrating paratransit into a revitalised public transport system, considerable attention should to be given to developing strategies that absorb as many paratransit operators displaced by high capacity trunk services as possible. Providing feeder and distribution services for new choice passengers attracted to the improved trunk service may hold promise in this regard. © 2014 World Conference on Transport Research Society.