Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Data needed to decarbonize paratransit in Sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainably transitioning to electric vehicles is challenging where transport and electricity systems are poorly defined due to a lack of data, such as those dominated by paratransit (informal, privately owned ‘public’ transport). We call for a more systemic approach to data collection as a key enabler for this transition.

Your institute does not have access to this article

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: The potential benefits of EV adoption to achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

References

  1. Ritchie, H. & Roser, M. CO2 and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Our World in Data, 2018); https://go.nature.com/3iO9QSv

  2. Transport and Climate Change Global Status Report 2018 (Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT), 2018); http://slocat.net/tcc-gsr

  3. Collett, K. A., Byamukama, M., Crozier, C. & McCulloch, M. Energy and Transport in Africa and South Asia (Energy and Economic Growth, 2020).

  4. Used Vehicles and the Environment (United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2020).

  5. Jennings, G. & Behrens, R. The Case for Investing in Paratransit: Strategies for Regulation and Reform (Volvo Research and Educational Foundations, 2017).

  6. Transport Statistics Bulletin 2014 (Department of Transport: Republic of South Africa, 2014).

  7. Ndibatya, I., Coetzee, J. & Booysen, M. Mapping the informal public transport network in Kampala with smartphones: making sense of an organically evolved chaotic system in an emerging city in Sub-Saharan Africa. In 35th Southern African Transport Conference Proceedings 327–337 (Southern African Transport Conference (SATC), 2016).

  8. Behrens, R., McCormick, D., Orero, R. & Ommeh, M. Transp. Policy 53, 79–88 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Geldenhuys, K. Servamus Community-based Safe. Secur. Mag. 112, 16–21 (2019).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Olvera, L. D., Plat, D. & Pochet, P. J. Transp. Geogr. 88, 102476 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Shirley, R. & Attia, B. Unlocking Utilities of the Future in Sub-Saharan Africa (ed. Zanalda, G.) Duke Global Working Paper Series No. 24 (SSRN, 2020).

  12. Buresh, K., Apperley, M. & Booysen, M. Energy Sustain. Dev. 57, 132–140 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Gorham, R. in The Urban Transport Crisis in Emerging Economies (eds Pojani, D. & Stead, D.) 173–195 (Springer, 2017).

  14. Todeschini, F. & Dewar, D. in The Urban Transport Crisis in Emerging Economies (eds Pojani, D. & Stead, D.) 221–246 (Springer, 2017).

  15. Porter, G., Abane, A. & Lucas, K. User Diversity and Mobility Practices in Sub-Saharan African Cities: Understanding the Needs of Vulnerable Populations. The State of Knowledge and Research Discussion Paper (Volvo Research and Educational Foundations, 2020).

  16. Knobloch, F. et al. Nat. Sustain. 3, 437–447 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. IMF Country-level Subsidy Estimates Database, 2018 (International Monetary Fund (IMF), 2018).

  18. Lukuyu, J., Muhebwa, A. & Taneja, J. Fish and chips: converting fishing boats for electric mobility to serve as minigrid anchor loads. In Proceedings of the Eleventh ACM International Conference on Future Energy Systems (e-Energy ‘20) 208–219 (Association for Computing Machinery, 2020); https://doi.org/10.1145/3396851.3397687

  19. Ndibatya, I. & Booysen, M. J. Transp. Geogr. 88, 102853 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Singh, Y. J., Lukman, A., Flacke, J., Zuidgeest, M. & Van Maarseveen, M. Transp. Policy 56, 96–111 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Klopp, J. M. & Cavoli, C. Transp. Rev. 39, 657–676 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Ndibatya, I. & Booysen, M. J. Transp. Geogr. 92, 103001 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Tinka, A. & Behrens, R. Cashless fare collection in sub-Saharan African paratransit: a review of experiences. In 38th Southern African Transport Conference Proceedings Paper session 2A-5 (Southern African Transport Conference, 2019); https://www.satc.org.za/conference-papers.html

  24. van Rensburg, J. & Krygsman, S. Transp. Res. Proc. 48, 1835–1847 (2020).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge the support of M. D. McCulloch. We acknowledge core funding from the Climate Compatible Growth Programme of the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO). The views expressed in this paper do not necessarily reflect the UK government’s official policies.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

The authors developed the concept and structure of this Comment together and contributed equally to the writing and revision of the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Katherine A. Collett or Stephanie A. Hirmer.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Peer review information Nature Sustainability thanks the anonymous reviewers for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Collett, K.A., Hirmer, S.A. Data needed to decarbonize paratransit in Sub-Saharan Africa. Nat Sustain 4, 562–564 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-021-00721-7

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41893-021-00721-7

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing