|Terminology used around the world|
|State / Territory / Region||Name used|
|Argentina||Colectivo (old usage)
Combi (current usage)
|Armenia||Marshrutka or երթուղային տաքսի ert’uġayin tak'si|
|Barbados||Zed err (After the first two letters of their license plates ZR)|
|Benin||Kia kia (Yorùbáland)[Thompson 1]|
|Bolivia||Trufi or Combi|
|Botswana||Kombi (After VW's Kombi)|
|Brazil||Táx lotação, alternativo|
In Quebec, taxis collectifs
|Colombia||Colectivo, Buseta, Taxibús, Taxi colectivo, Taxi pirata|
|Costa Rica||Taxi pirata|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||Fula fula (Kinshasa)[Thompson 2]|
|Dominican Republic||Concho, carro público, guagua|
|Egypt||Micro-bus (ميكروباص Mekrobass)
مشروع Mašrūʿ in Alexandria
|El Salvador||Coaster, or minibus (Coster)|
|Estonia||Liinitakso or marsruuttakso|
|Georgia||Marshrutka or სამარშრუტო ტაქსი samarshruto taksi (route taxi)|
|Hong Kong||Name in English:
Public light bus, minibus
Name in Chinese:
公共小型巴士, 小巴 or Van仔
|Indonesia||Angkot, Bemo, Mikrolet (Jakarta), Mikro (Manado), Oplet (Bandung, Pekanbaru, Padang), Pete pete (Makassar), Sudako (Medan), other names exist|
|India||Shared taxi, Six-seater auto,
Eight-seater auto, Phat a phat, Polaamboo
(conventional taxicabs are called taxi services)
|Kazakhstan||Marshrutka (маршрутное такси,
|Malaysia||Shared Outstation Taxi|
|Mexico||Auto de Ruta (Ruletero), Colectivo, Rutero, Taxi de ruta, Pesero or Combi,
(pesero and combi, usually a small bus)
|Moldova||Maxi taxi (formal), Rutiera (informal)|
|Morocco||Grand Taxi, Petit Taxi|
|Mozambique||Chapa (pronounced sha-pa)|
|Nicaragua||Taxi Colectivo (for taxis), microbus (for minivans)|
|New Zealand||Shuttle van|
|Nigeria||Bolekaja (Lagos),[Thompson 1] danfo (Lagos), kia kia (Yorùbáland),[Thompson 1] molue (for midibuses)|
|Pakistan||Local Van or Vagon|
|Peru||Colectivo (it is more taxi-like and has a fixed route)
Combi (it is more like a small minibus and has a fixed route)
|Philippines||Jeepney, V–Hire (Vehicle for Hire), FX (Asian Utility Vehicle/Vans)|
|Poland||Bus, busik, minibus, mikrobus, nyska, aron|
|Puerto Rico||Carros públicos, pisicorre (pisa y corre), guagua|
|Russia||Marshrutka (маршрутное такси,
|Rwanda||twegerane, shared taxi, coaster bus|
|Senegal||Car Rapide (for midibuses)|
|Sierra Leone||Poda poda|
|Slovakia||Strely (In Martin, Martinské strely)|
|South Africa||Combi, Zola or Teksi|
|Togo||Kia kia (Yorùbáland)[Thompson 1]|
|Trinidad and Tobago||Maxi taxi|
|Uganda||Kamunye, Matatu or taxi|
|Ukraine||Marshrutka (маршрутне таксі,
|United Kingdom||Demand Responsive Transport, DRT|
|United States||Circulator, jitney, dollar van, shuttle service, shared ride limousine, guagua|
|Venezuela||Carrito por puesto|
|Zimbabwe||Commuter Omnibus or Tshova|
|Many West and Central African countries, & Madagascar||Bush taxi (French: Taxi brousse)|
|Some Latin American countries||Públicos, colectivos, carritos, gauguas|
A share taxi is a mode of transport which falls between both taxicabs and buses. These vehicles for hire are typically smaller than buses and usually take passengers on a fixed or semi-fixed route without timetables, but instead commonly departing when all seats are filled. They may stop anywhere to pick up or drop off passengers. The vehicles used as share taxis range from four-seat cars to minibuses. They are often owner-operated.
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. The UITP often uses 'informal transport' as a term to describe the activity. In many countries they create problems that are due to the ways in which they are driven and the condition of the vehicles: usually old, polluting, often in dangerous condition and overloaded. Indeed in many places such services are illegal or banned. Organised crime may control them where enforcement is weak.
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.
- 1 Operation
- 2 Types of vehicle
- 3 Traditional systems around the world
- 3.1 Black taxi
- 3.2 Bush taxi
- 3.3 Carro Público
- 3.4 Coaster bus
- 3.5 Colectivo
- 3.6 Dala dala
- 3.7 Danfo
- 3.8 Dolmuş
- 3.9 Fula fula
- 3.10 Gbaka
- 3.11 Grand Taxi
- 3.12 Jeepney
- 3.13 Jitney
- 3.14 Kia kia
- 3.15 Liinitakso
- 3.16 Louage
- 3.17 Marshrutka
- 3.18 Maršrutinis taksi
- 3.19 Matatu
- 3.20 Micro-bus
- 3.21 Taxi
- 3.22 Minibus taxi
- 3.23 South Africa
- 3.24 Public light bus
- 3.25 Ruletero
- 3.26 Service car
- 3.27 Service taxi
- 3.28 Shared taxi and shared jeep
- 3.29 Sherut
- 3.30 Shuttle bus or van
- 3.31 Songthaew
- 3.32 Sotrama
- 3.33 Tap tap
- 3.34 Taxis collectifs
- 3.35 Taxis collectifs
- 3.36 Taxi colectivo
- 3.37 Treintaxi
- 3.38 Tro tro
- 3.39 Cameroon
- 3.40 Burkina Faso
- 3.41 Greece
- 4 Modern technology-based services
- 5 See also
- 6 References
Share taxis are operated under two main models:
- Operated by a company, or subcontracted by a public transit authority. Often, individual vehicles are owned by individual drivers but operate under the same company name. Alternatively, the cars may be owned by a single company that pays the drivers.
- Private vehicles. These tend to be more overloaded than company vehicles, sometimes with passengers sitting on the roof, on the bonnet, and in the boot. They are usually owned by individuals, who do not involve themselves in the day-to-day running of the taxi. Instead they either employ a driver and a conductor, who maintain and operate the vehicle, or they rent it out for a daily fee, allowing the renter to keep all profits. In some countries these private vehicles are illegal, but often operate anyway, attracting customers with lower prices.
A given share taxi route may start and finish in fixed central locations, and landmarks may serve as route names or route termini. In some African cities routes are run between formal termini, where the majority of passengers board. In these places the share taxis wait for a full load of passengers prior to departing, and off-peak wait times may be in excess of an hour.
In other places, there may be no formal termini, with taxis simply congregating at a central location, instead.
Even more-formal terminals may be little more than parking lots.
Along the route
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).
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 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.
Most share taxis are operated under one of two regimes. Some share taxis are operated by a company. For example, in Dakar there are company-owned fleets of hundred of car rapides. In Soviet Union, share taxis, known as marshrutka, were operated by state-owned taxi parks. There are also individual operators in many countries. In Africa, while there are company share taxis, individual owners are more common. Rarely owning more than two vehicles at a time, they will rent out a minibus to operators, who pay fuel and other running costs, and keep revenue.
In some African cities, share taxi minibuses are overseen by syndicates, unions, or route associations. These groups often function in the absence of a regulatory environment and may collect dues or fees from drivers (such as per-use terminal payments), set routes, manage terminals, and fix fares. Terminal management may include ensuring each vehicle leaves with a full load of passengers.
Because the syndicates represent owners, their regulatory efforts tend to favor operators rather than passengers, and the very termini syndicates upkeep can cost delays and money for passengers as well as forcing them to disembark at inconvenient locations, in a phenomenon called "terminal constraint".
As of 2008, African minibuses are difficult to tax, and may operate in a "regulatory vacuum" perhaps because their existence is not part of a government scheme, but is simply a market response to a growing demand for such services. Route syndicates and operator's associations often exercise unrestricted control, and existing rules may see little enforcement.
Types of vehicle
Certain vehicle types may be better-suited to current condition than others. In many traffic-choked, sprawling, and low-density African cities minibuses profit.
Traditional systems around the world
While carrying different names and distinguished by regional peculiarities, the share taxi is an everyday feature of life in many places throughout the world.
In some towns in Northern Ireland, notably certain districts in Ballymena, Belfast, Derry and Newry, share taxi services operate using Hackney carriages and are called black taxis. These services developed during The Troubles as public bus services were often interrupted due to street rioting. Taxi collectives are closely linked with political groups – those operating in Catholic areas with Sinn Féin, those in Protestant areas with loyalist paramilitaries and their political wings.
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.
Three main vehicle types are used as bush taxis (French taxi brousse, Mandinka tanka tanka): the station wagon, the minibus, and the lorry. Many are previously owned vehicles imported from Europe or Japan; 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 fit benches with 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 in three rows of seats. Other models, such as the Peugeot 505 or the Toyota Corolla have since 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 more crowded, and passengers might even sit on the roof or the boot. 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 or four-across according to the number of passengers seated in each row.
The minibus (a van-like vehicle seating 12 to 20 passengers; French minicar) is quickly becoming the most common type of bush taxi in West and Central Africa, especially for longer trips. Due to the vehicles' larger size, drivers often employ a helper who rides in the back of the vehicle and tells the driver when to stop to let people off, and helps load and unload baggage. Minibuses tend to travel slower than cars, 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 models in West-Africa are the Renault Goelette, the Saviem Super Goelette 2, and the Isuzu "Kitamura" minibus. The Goelette is also used frequently in Vietnam and Madagascar as a share taxi.
Lorries are also used as bush taxis (French bâché): they are normal lorries (trucks) with benches along the sides of the bed for passengers. There is often a cover for the bed as well. Lorries are more robustly made (and give a rougher ride) than purpose-built passenger vehicles; routes over worse roads and to more remote areas are often serviced by lorries.
In the Dominican Republic, these privately owned vehicles run fixed routes with no designated stops, and the ride is shared with other passengers. They are also commonly called conchos or carros de concho.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against traveling in Dominican Republic carros públicos because doing so makes passengers targets for robbery, and because the taxis are known to, "disregard traffic laws, often resulting in serious accidents involving injuries and sometimes death." The US Department of State also warns that using them is hazardous, as passengers often have their pockets picked, and are sometimes robbed by the drivers themselves.
While these cars do travel inter-city, they may not be available for longer, cross-island travel. Stations may exist in cities, and Puerto Rican carros públicos may congregate in specific places around town.
Colectivos operated as share taxis from the late 1920s until the 1950s in Buenos Aires, Argentina when they were integrated into the public transportation system. Vehicles still known as colectivos operate throughout the country, but have long been indistinguishable from busses. Share taxis in Chile are known as colectivos.
Minivans (minibuses may be a more-correct term here) are used as vehicles for hire and referred to as dala dala in Tanzania. While dala dala may run fixed routes picking up passengers at central locations, they will also stop along the route to drop someone off or allow a prospective passenger to board. Before minibuses became widely used, the typical dala dala was a pick-up truck with benches placed in the truck bed.
Usually run by both a driver and a conductor, the latter is called a mpigadebe. Literally meaning "a person who hits a debe" (a 4 gallon tin container used for transporting gasoline or water), the name is in reference to the fact that conductors are often hitting the roof and side of the van to attract customers and notify the driver when to leave the station.
These often-crowded public transports have their routes allocated by a Tanzania transport regulator, Surface and Marine Transport Regulatory Authority (SUMATRA), but syndicates also exist and include DARCOBOA.
In Nigeria, both minibuses (called danfo) and midibuses (molue) may be operated as share taxis. Such public transports may also be referred to as bolekaja, and many may bear slogans or sayings.[Thompson 1]
In Turkey and Turkish controlled Northern Cyprus dolmuş (pronounced "dolmush") are share taxis that run on set routes within and between cities. Each of these cars or minibuses displays their particular route on signboards behind the windscreen.
Some cities may only allow dolmuş to pick up and disembark passengers at designated stops, and terminals also exist. The word derives from Turkish for "full" or "stuffed", as these share taxis depart from the terminal only when a sufficient amount of passengers have boarded.
Visitors to Turkey may be surprised by the speed of dolmuş travel.
These share taxis are also found in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus under the same name. Traveling intra and inter-city, the privately owned minibuses or aging Mercedes stretch limos are overseen by a governance institution; routes are leased and vehicles licensed. Passengers board anywhere along the route (you may have to get the driver to stop if he doesn't honk at you) as well as at termini and official stations. Dolmuş in Turkish-controlled, Northern Cyprus display their routes but don't follow timetables. Instead, they simply appear frequently.
There was no independent transport authority in the city of Kinshasa as of 2008.
As of 2008, Abidjan public transport was serviced by large buses as well as minibuses.
Syndicates include UPETCA, SNTMVCI.
In Morocco, share taxis are called "Grandes taxis," and are primarily used for inter-city transport. They generally operate from known, fixed points in each city and town. Grandes taxis are generally large, four-door diesel-powered full-size cars with a capacity of seven, typically 1970s-80s Mercedes-Benz vehicles, although some Opel Senators are also in service.
The most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines as of 2007, jeepneys were originally made out of US military jeeps left over from World War II and are known for their color and flamboyant decoration. Today the jeepneys are built by local body shops from a combination of prefabricated elements (from a handful Filipino manufacturers) and improvisation and in most cases equipped with "surplus" or used Japanese SUV or light truck engines, drive train, suspension and steering components (from recycled vehicles in Japan).
In contrast to their African share-taxi brethren, jeepneys are often conversion vehicles. They have not changed much since their post-war creation, even in the face of an increased access to pre-made vehicles, such as minibuses.
Jeepneys have the entrance on the back, and there is space for two people beside the driver (or more if they are small). The back of the Jeepney is equipped with two long bench seats along the sides and the people seated closest to the driver are responsible for passing the fare of new passengers forward to the driver and the change back to the passenger. The start and end point of the Jeepney route is often a Jeepney terminal, where there is a queue system so only one Jeepney plying a particular route is filled at a time, and where a person helps the driver to collect fares and fill the vehicles with people, usually to more than comfortable capacity.
Preferring to leave only when full and only stop for a crowd of potential passengers, riders can nonetheless disembark at any time; and while jeepneys ply fixed routes, these may be subject to change over time. New ones may need approval from a Philippine transport regulator. Jeepney stations do exist.
Jitney is a North American English term that originally referred to a vehicle for hire intermediate between a taxi and a bus. They are generally small-capacity vehicles that follow a rough service route, but can go slightly out of their way to pick up and drop off passengers. In many US cities (e.g. Pittsburgh and Detroit), the term jitney refers to an unlicensed taxi cab.
The name comes from an archaic, colloquial term for a five-cent piece in the US (the nickel). 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 Rhode Island, a jitney license plate is used for all public passenger buses, even for larger ones.
While jitneys became fairly common in many other countries, such as the Philippines, they first appeared in the US and Canada. The first US jitneys ran in 1914 in Los Angeles, California. 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 jitneys were 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 (as well as the mid-20th-century decline in transit service), jitneys have reappeared in some areas of the US, particularly in 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 University of Chicago's Richard Epstein, Rutgers' James Dunn,[disambiguation needed] and USC's Peter Gordon,[disambiguation needed] as a more "market-friendly" alternative to public transportation. Concerns over fares, insurance liabilities, and passenger safety have kept legislative support for jitneys decidedly tepid. Nevertheless, in New York City and northern New Jersey, jitneys (known as "dollar vans" because of their original price) are regulated.
And now in Houston, the Houston Waves started. This, Houston's first jitney in 17 years was started in 2009 and has expanded into a network of buses operating within Loop 610 and to all special event venues in Houston.
Share taxis in Estonia are mostly found in Tallinn, the capital. Called liinitakso, marsruuttakso, taksobuss or mikroautobuss, these minibuses run fixed routes and allow passengers to disembark at any time.
Share taxis in Tunisia are called louage and follow fixed or semi-fixed routes, departing from stations when full. Usually minibuses or compact cars, although some louage are station wagons, passengers may board and disembark at any point during travel.
They run between towns and within cities.
Marshrutka or marshrutnoe taksi are share taxis found in Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, and in Russia, and the Republics of the Former Soviet Union. Usually vans, they drive along set routes, usually depart only when all seats are filled, and may have higher fares than buses. Passengers can board a marshrutka anywhere along its route if there are seats available.
As fares are usually paid before the marshrutka leaves, which seat you choose can have consequences. Riders nearer the driver are responsible for handing up the other passengers' fares and passing back change.
In Lithuania, share taxis are called maršrutinis taksi.
In Kenya, Uganda, and neighboring nations matatu are privately owned minibuses, although pick-up trucks were in the past pressed into service as these East African public transports whose decoration often features portraits of the famous. Slogans and sayings also appear, some religious. In addition to a driver, matatu may be staffed by a tout, conductor, or porter.
As of 1999, matatu could have been the only form of public transport in Nairobi, Kenya, but this may not have been the case in 2006 and 2008. As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, may only be serviced by minibuses.
The name is a Swahili colloquialism, and were it convenient, passengers could even pay for their journeys via cell phone. The name is literally a conjugation of the word "three", and derives from their original price, three shillings "mashilingi matatu".
In Kenya, this industry is regulated, and such minibuses must, by law, be fitted with seatbelts and speed governors. Present regulation may not be sufficient deterrent to prevent small infractions as even decoration may be prohibited. Kenya has one of the "most extensive regulatory controls to market entry", and a matatu worker can be pulled from the streets simply for sporting too loud a shirt.
As of 2008, Kampala, Uganda, has no independent transport authority, but transport is authorised by Kampala Capital city Authority (KCCA). In Kampala the informal vehicles are called taxis. 
Micro-buses are licensed by each governorate as taxicabs, and are generally operated privately by their drivers. Although each governorate attempts to maintain a consistent paint scheme for them, in practice the color of them varies wildly, as the "consistent" schemes have changed from time to time and many drivers have not bothered to repaint their cars.
Rates vary depending on distance traveled, although these rates are generally well known to those riding the micro-bus. The fares also depend on the city. Riders can typically hail micro-buses from any point along the route, often with well-established hand signals indicating the prospective rider's destination, although certain areas tend to be well-known micro-bus stops.
Like the Eastern European marshrutka, a typical micro-bus is a large van, most often a Toyota HiAce or its Jinbei equivalent, the Haise, and the latter is produced by the Bavarian Auto Manufacturing Group in 6th of October City in Egypt. Smaller vans and larger small buses are also used.
In Iran a share Taxi is usually called "Taxi", while non-share taxis are called "Taxi Service". Four passengers share a taxi and usually, there is no terminus. Instead, the taxis wait in the street side and blare their destination to all taxis until one of them stops. These are regular taxis but if somebody wants to get non-share taxi they may call a taxi service for themselves or wait wait in the street side and say 'DARBAST' (closed doors). It means he is not interested to share the taxi and is consequently willing to pay more for the privilege.
Minibus, with a capacity of 18 passengers, and Shuttles, called van, with a capacity of 9 passengers are other kinds of share transport in Iran.
Minibus taxis in Ethiopia are one of the most important modes of transport in big cities like Addis Ababa. They are preferred by the majority of the populace over public buses and more-traditional taxicabs because they are generally cheap, operate on diverse routes, and are available in abundance. All minibus taxis in Ethiopia have a standard blue-and-white color scheme. Minibus taxis are usually Toyota Hiaces and typically can carry 11 passengers. The minibus driver has a crew member called a weyala whose job is to collect the fare from passengers.
In 2008, publicly operated public transport was available in Addis Ababa in addition to that provided by the minibuses. A fleet of 350 large buses may operate for this purpose. Also as of 2008, the city lacks an independent transport authority, but some regulation, such as that controlling market entry, does exist.
Route syndicates may be a presence but are described as "various".
Over 60% of South African commuters use shared minibus taxis (16 seater commuter buses). Many of these vehicles are unsafe and not roadworthy, and often dangerously overloaded.
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-47s 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 taxis carry the South African flag on the side and are notably more spacious and safe.
Public light bus
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.
Typically offering 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, minibuses carry a maximum of 16 seated passengers. Standing passengers are not allowed.
There are two types of public light minibus, green and red. 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: green for continuous service (regardless of number of passengers) and generally salaried drivers; red is more like a shared taxi, with the driver waiting for enough passengers to justify leaving, as his income depends on the revenue.
In New Zealand, the first widespread motor vehicle services were shared taxi services termed service cars; a significant early provider was Aard, operating elongated Hudson Super-Six Coaches. Aard was taken over by New Zealand Railways Road Services in 1928,. Shared taxis in New Zealand nowadays are referred to as Shuttles or Shuttle vans (see below).
Shared taxis–and they are known by that exact name–have been operating in Mumbai, India, since the early 1970s. These are more like a point-to-point service that operates only during the peak hours than other share taxis. During off-peak hours, they ply just like the regular taxis; they can be hailed anywhere on the roads, and passengers are charged by the meter.
But during peak hours several of them will operate as shared taxis, taking a full cab load of passengers to a more or less common destination. The pick-up points for these taxis are fixed, and are marked by a sign saying "shared taxis" and the cabs will line up at this point during peak hours.
They display the general destination they are headed for on their windscreens, and passengers just get in and wait for the cab to fill up. As soon as this happens–which takes less than a few minutes–the cab moves off. Fares are a fixed amount and are far lower than the metered fare to the same destination but higher than a bus or train fare.
Share jeeps are a common form of transportation in the Himalayas, the North Eastern States and elsewhere.
Sherut (pl. moniot sherut) is a Hebrew word meaning "service". Also referring to vans that serve as share taxis in Israel, these can be picked up from sherut stations. They follow fixed routes (sometimes the same routes as public transport buses), leave when full, and will only disembark passengers along the route. Moniyot sherut operate both inter and intra-city. Payment is done by passing money to the driver in a "human chain" formed by the passengers seated before. The change (and the receipt, when requested) are returned to the person who paid by the same means. When most or some seats are vacant, the driver usually travels slower and honks the horn to attract the attention of potential passengers on the sidewalk. In intra-city routes, where they compete with official buses, the drivers usually coordinate their travel by radio so that they can arrive at the bus station just before public transport buses and take the most passengers.
Shuttle bus or van
Shared buses or vans are available in many more developed countries connecting frequent destinations, charging a fixed fee per passenger. The most common case is a connection between an airport and central city locations. These services are often known as shuttles. Such services usually use smaller vehicles than normal buses, and often operate on demand. An air traveller can contact the shuttle company by telephone or Internet, not necessarily in advance; the company will ensure that a shuttle is provided without unreasonable delay. The shuttle will typically connect one airport with several large hotels, or addresses in a specified area of the city. The shuttle offers much of the convenience of a taxi, although taking longer, at a price which is significantly lower for one or two passengers. Scheduled services between an airport and a hotel, usually operated by the hotel, are also called shuttles.
In many cases, the shuttle operator takes the risk of there not being enough passengers to make the trip profitable; in others there is a minimum charge when there are not enough passengers.
Usually there are regulations covering vehicles and drivers; for example in New Zealand under NZTA regulations, shuttles are only allowed to have up to eleven passenger seats, and the driver must have a passenger endorsement (P) on their drivers' licence.
Literally "two rows" a songthaew or song thaew (Thai สองแถว, Lao: ສອງແຖວ [sɔ̌ːŋtʰíw]) is a passenger vehicle in Thailand and Laos adapted from a pick-up or a larger truck and used as a share taxi. They are also known to English-speaking travelers from the time when the usual fare was one baht as a baht bus.
As of 2008, Bamako, Mali, has no independent transport authority, but share taxi activity could fall under regulator Direction de la régulation et du contrôle du transport urbain (municipal) or DRCTU control.
Tap taps are privately owned and beautifully decorated. They follow fixed routes; won't leave until filled with passengers; and many feature wild colors, portraits of famous people, and intricate, hand-cut wooden window covers. Often they are painted with religious names or slogans.[Thompson 3] Riders can disembark at any point in the journey. Their name refers to "fast motion".[Thompson 4]
The publiques operate on fixed routes and pick up additional passengers all along the way.
While saying not to use any form of public transport in Haiti, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada advises against tap tap travel especially. The US State Department also warns travelers not to use tap taps, "because they are often overloaded, mechanically unsound, and driven unsafely."
In Algeria, taxis collectifs ply fixed routes with their destination displayed. Rides are shared with others who are picked up along the way, and the taxi eill leave only when it seats all the passengers it can. While stations, set locations to board and disembark, exist, prospective passengers flag down a taxis collectifs when they want a ride.
Along with all forms of public transport in Algeria, the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada recommend against using these share taxis. The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs asks that you use taxis recommended by a hotel.
In Quebec, share taxis or jitneys are called taxis collectifs (in English "collective taxis") or transport collectif par taxi (which may be translated in English as "taxibus") and are operated by subcontractors to the local transit authorities on fixed routes.
In the case of the Montréal the fare is the same as local bus fare, but no cash and transfers are issued or accepted; in case of the STL only bus passes. The Réseau de transport de Longueuil accepts regular RTL tickets and all RTL and some Agence métropolitaine de transport TRAM passes.
Often share taxi routes in Mexico are ad hoc arrangements to fill in gaps in regular public transportation, 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 and in Lima.
Taxis colectivos are also found in Perú, Chile, Guatemala, and Argentina, where they are most commonly referred to simply as colectivos, although in some places they have become essentially standard buses.
Besides the conventional deeltaxi, there are treintaxis in some Dutch towns. Operated on behalf of the Netherlands Railways, they run to and from railway stations and the ride is shared with additional passengers picked up along the way. Tickets can be purchased at railway ticket offices or from the cabdriver, but treintaxis must be ordered by phone unless boarding at a railway station.
In Ghana and neighboring countries, tro tro are privately owned minibus vehicles for hire that travel fixed routes leaving when filled to capacity. While there are tro tro stations, these share taxis can also be boarded anywhere along the route.
Operated by a driver and a conductor, who collects money, shouts out the destination, and is called a "mate", many are decorated with slogans and sayings, often religious, and few operate on Sundays.
Large buses also provide public transport in Accra, as of 2008.
Modern technology-based services
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 or mobile app to a central server which aggregates these travel requests and creates packages of trips which are then communicated to drivers. In California, an app called Hitch aggregates riders with similar itineraries into peer-to-peer taxis. In New York and at transit hubs, Bandwagon matches passengers with similar itineraries into existing taxis. In Munich, an app called SHÄRE-a-Taxi spontaneously matches riders aiming to go in the same direction. Besides sharing the taxi with nice fellow people, the app offers in app payment.
Commercially operated airport shuttle buses
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.
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