Innovative approaches to public transport systems in response to socio-economic needs and complex urban mobility challenges facing developing countries have emerged as a focal point of discussion in development planning academic discourse. This is more so in countries like South Africa where cities are characterised by a fragmented spatial form and socio-economic disparities. Thus, public transport systems that provide efficient and reliable services affordable by all income groups while contributing to improved accessibility of opportunities have been advocated for. This paper assessed the role of innovative approaches to urban public transport systems in improving urban mobility and redressing past imbalances. The study followed a mixed approach by combining qualities of qualitative and quantitative approaches through administering of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. An inductive approach to data analysis to study patterns within themes of accessibility, efficiency, affordability and reliability was followed. Study findings and international experiences observed affirm that innovative urban public transport systems play a commendable role in improving urban mobility. However, there is limited effort towards a multi-modal network in response to the fragmented spatial form characterising cities in the global south. The paper concludes by accentuating stakeholders’ collaboration and modal integration in a manner that is responsive to spatial and socio-economic disparities.
Papers Presented at the 2018 37th Southern African Transport Conference 9-12 July 2018 Pretoria, South Africa. Theme "Towards a desired transport future: safe, sufficient and affordable".