Paper presented at the 33rd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 7-10 July 2014 "Leading Transport into the Future", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa.
Nairobi’s public transport system is known for being disorderly and even chaotic.
Understanding the nature and implications of the current disorder should give planners
and public transport actors the tools to devise and promote better institutional frameworks
for public transport in Nairobi and elsewhere. This paper uses data from field research
carried out in Nairobi in 2010-2011 as part of a larger three-city study. The research used
key informant interviews and case studies of paratransit businesses to gain an in-depth
understanding of paratransit operations, especially the compliance of individual paratransit
firms with existing laws and regulations. A key finding was that, contrary to popular belief,
paratransit vehicles did not flagrantly violate all regulations, but practiced what researchers
called ‘selective compliance’. They followed some regulations and violated others. This
paper analyses this result in order first, to assess the implications of such behaviour for the
development of different categories of institutions in Nairobi’s public transport sector, and
second, to hone existing theories of institutional change to make them more applicable to
urban public transport systems in Africa.
This paper was transferred from the original CD ROM created for this conference. The material was published using Adobe Acrobat 10.1.0 Technology. The original CD ROM was produced by CE Projects cc. Postal Address: PO Box 560 Irene 0062 South Africa. Tel.: +27 12 667 2074 Fax: +27 12 667 2766 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org