Transport and Covid-19: responses and resources

Transport Innovations from the Global South

Innovative mobility solutions do not always originate in technologically-advanced countries.

Poorer countries’ need to organise mobility with limited means has spawned many creative solutions to help citizens to get from A to B or transport goods.

Many of these practices can inspire better transport solutions in the developed world - but often the Global South is overlooked as a hub of good ideas. A new report released by the International Transport Forum highlights solutions emanating from the Global South and encourages policy makers to look at them as sources of inspiration for innovation.

“Transport Innovations from the Global South: Case Studies, Insights, Recommendations” discusses benefits and challenges of implementing these solutions in the Global North. 

The report presents twelve case studies. These focus on public transport, shared mobility services and other ideas that increase the accessibility, connectivity and sustainability of transport systems.

The case studies include:

  • How a relay truck service in India reconciles fast delivery and driver well-being.
  • How encoding Nairobi’s informal transport helped transform global transport services.
  • How Africa’s first drone corridor enables innovation in aviation.
  • How motorcycle taxis are altering door-to-door travel in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • How Colombia is transforming urban mobility with cable cars.

More case studies look at mobile payment for airfares in Ethiopia, innovative mass public transport in Brazil, electrification of mobility in China, app-based mobility in Mexico, and how an Indonesian on-demand transport supplier grew into a full service provider for upwardly mobile urbanites.

To expand the innovation horizon of transport policy in the Global North, the report recommends policy makers to, among other things:

  • Leave room for bottom-up innovation through a light regulatory touch.
  • Bring together innovative mobility actors and traditional transport operators.
  • Create innovation sandboxes and “living labs”.
  • Look beyond transport towards non-traditional actors increasingly shaping the future of transport.

You can download “Transport Innovations from the Global South: Case Studies, Insights, Recommendations” for free from the ITF website here:

The report is launched in Dublin to mark Ireland’s Presidency of the International Transport Forum in 2019/20.

As the Presidency Country, Ireland will chair the Annual Summit of Transport Ministers in Leipzig, Germany, from 27-29 May 2020.

The theme of the 2020 Summit will be “Transport Innovation for Sustainable Development”. This report will provide important input for the Summit.

Ireland hosts the 60 member countries of the ITF in Dublin from 5-8 November to prepare the 2020 Summit and set policy for the organisation.

The work for “Transport Innovation from the Global South” was initiated and funded by the ITF Corporate Partnership Board, the ITF’s platform for engaging with the private sector and enriching global transport policy discussion with a business perspective.

Media Contact:
Michael KLOTH
Head of Communications
M +33 (0)6 15 95 03 27

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