Informal Transit Networks: Impacts from Public Sector Competition and Policy Options for Reform

Transportation generates the largest share of greenhouse gas emissions and is a primary driver of pollution in cities. Given that billions will move into cities in the coming decades within low- and middle-income countries, a key part of the fight to reduce global emissions is to promote public transit use. But at present, high-quality options with the potential to entice middle-income commuters are sparse and transit is instead provided by informal providers with old vehicles and unregulated networks. Should governments pursue new, expensive, and centralized transit systems to reduce car dependence? Or are there cheaper reforms to the informal transit sector that could achieve a sizeable gain in the short- and medium-run? This project will answer these questions through a randomized evaluation of a new bus system in Lagos, Nigeria.

RFP Cycle:
Fall 2021
  • Nick Tsivanidis
  • Daniel Bjorkegren
  • Alice Duhaut
  • Geetika Nagpal
  • Full project