Paper presented at the 32nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 8-11 July 2013 "Transport and Sustainable Infrastructure", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Cooperatives have become an important part of understanding performance and the provision of public transport system in many African cities. However, recently they have also become a means through which to regulate the paratranit sector.
Paratransit, by definition should offer a transport system parallel to the main public transport services. However, in most African cities paratransit have become the sole providers of public transport which is characterised by atomised ownership with most operators owning just one vehicle. Such ownership structures generally affect the performance of each operator and subsequently make it difficult to regulate them.
The public authority regulators have been encouraging the formation of transport cooperatives by the operators to possibly attain better organisation, ease in regulation and improved provision of service to commuters.
In an effort to achieve such benefits, In October 2010, the Kenya public transport regulators made it a mandatory requirement for paratransit operators to join Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs). The question to be asked is to what extent has the implementation of the policy lead to the improvement/change in the performance, organisation and regulation of the paratransit sector. The paper uses both primary and secondary data to show how the formation of cooperatives have impacted the paratransit operations in the last two years, discusses the difficulties faced in the implementation and highlight the importance of adequate timing to make feasible the realisation of the objectives of such policies.
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