|State / Territory / Region||Name used|
|Kombi (After VW's Kombi)|
|Táxi lotação, alternativo|
In Quebec, taxi collectif
or transport collectif par taxi
|Concho, Carro Público|
|Liinitakso or marsruuttakso|
| English: Public light bus or minibus|
Chinese: 公共小型巴士 or 小巴
|Bemo, Colt, Oplet or Mikrolet|
|Shared taxi, Six-seater auto, Eight-seater auto, Phat-a-Phat, Polaamboo|
| Monit Sherut|
|Marshrutka (маршрутное такси, or маршрутка)|
|Pempena Executive Taxi|
|Auto de Ruta (Ruletero), Colectivo, Rutero, Pesero or Combi, (pesero and combi, usually a small bus)|
|Grand Taxi, Petit Taxi|
|Chapa (pronounced sha-pa)|
|Molue or Danfo|
|Local Van or Vagon|
|Jeepney or V–Hire ( Vehicle for Hire)|
|Bus, busik, minibus, mikrobus, nyska|
|Carros Públicos, Guagua, Pisa y Corre|
|Marshrutka (маршрутное такси, or маршрутка)|
|Taxi or Twegerane|
|Strely (In Martin, Martinské strely)|
|Caasi, xaajiqamsiin or koostar|
|Minibus-taxi or Teksi|
|Kamunye, Matatu or Taxi|
|Demand Responsive Transport, DRT|
|Circulator, jitney, dollar van, shuttle service, shared ride limousine|
|Commuter Omnibus or Tshova|
|Many West and Central|
|Bush taxi (French: Taxi brousse)|
|Some Latin American|
A share taxi is a mode of transport that falls between private transport and conventional bus transport, often with a fixed or semi-fixed route, but with the added convenience of stopping anywhere to pick or drop passengers and not having fixed time schedules. The vehicles used range from standard 4 seater cars up to minibuses.
Share taxis are the main system of public transport in many countries (especially developing countries) and are known by many different names around the world (see table). They often are privately owned and have an anarchic operating style, lacking central control or organisation.
In many countries they 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. Indeed in many places such services are illegal or banned.
Over the last few years the attitudes of planners and policy makers has begun 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 where regulations have changed to allow such services, many of which are supported by advanced information technology, including GPS tracking, internet booking systems and mobile phones to coordinate passengers and vehicles.
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 destination.
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.
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 prevarication 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.
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.
There are three main types of bush taxi (French taxi brousse, Mandinka tanka tanka): 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 passengers 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. Frequently used brands/models in West-Africa are the Renault Goelette, the Saviem Super Goelette 2, and the Isuzu Kitamura minibus. Note that the Goelette may also be found frequently in Vietnam and Madagascar as a share taxi.
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.
In the cities, different routes are designated by letter and number combinations. In other areas, no such designations exist.
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 a debe' (a 4 gallon tin container used for transporting gasoline or water). 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.
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 "full" or "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. Dolmuşes are yellow vans commuting 7-8 people at a time. They are also one of the more expensive mass transport alternatives. Minibuses however, have a capacity for 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.
See Main article: Jeepney
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 other 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. 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 1973 oil crisis, 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.
Miami has the country's most comprehensive jitney network, sparking from its Caribbean influence.
The ACJA operates a Jitney service that travels the main strip of casinos. One of the routes also services the new cluster of casinos west of Atlantic City proper.
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 three shillings. Matatu are sometimes known as 'ma3' as the swahili word for "three" is tatu, normally used in text messaging 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. They also use names of famous people all over the world be it singers, sportsmen, etc. like Martina Hingis, Jennifer Lopez, George Bush and so on.
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. That is why the youth normally use the 'dot-com' mathrees usually referred to as manyanga/nganya and the older people use the more quieter ones-wangora or ya wazazi (for parents). This is because majority of them have no music at all and are always slow.
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:
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. 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.
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. These new minibus taxi's carry the South African flag on the side and are notably more spacious and safe.
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.
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 manoeuvre 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.
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.
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.
The tro-tros 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-tros operate with a driver and a ride-along mate whose 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 taxis 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.
Modern Paratransit services, also known as demand responsive transport systems in the UK, can provide shared transport services in situations where scheduled services are not viable. Traditionally these services had to be booked a day in advance, but are becoming increasingly responsive using modern communications systems with a central booking system accessed by phone or internet and instant communications with GPS tracked vehicles. Unlike scheduled services the vehicles need not operate on fixed routes of timetables, although they do often have constrained routes.
Some newer taxi share systems now use internet and mobile phone communications for booking and scheduling purposes, with the actual service provided by normal hackney carriage or Private Hire vehicles. Prospective passengers make bookings and supply destination details using SMS to a central server which aggregates these travel requests and creates packages of trips which are then communicated to drivers.
There are many operators of airport shuttle services between Airports and Hotels around the world that operate on flexible routing and timing to offer a service that is both cheaper than a sole-occupancy taxi and also often more convenient that other forms of public transport. The requirement to carry luggage offers an added incentive to use such services over scheduled transport which will normally require a walk from the drop-off location to the final destination. Services from these operators are starting to spread from airports to railway stations and to other locations.
Thirty-five people were injured in two separate minibus taxi accidents in the Free State, paramedics said yesterday.
Jan 09, 2012; Thirty-five people were injured in two separate minibus taxi accidents in the Free State, paramedics said yesterday. ER24...