One-day seminar on Paratransit, Aix-Marseille University, 02/03/2017

CODATU News Friday 9 June 2017

Taking
advantage of highly positive reviews for the original One-day seminar on Paratransit (Paris, March 2016), a second One-day seminar was organised in Marseile, on March 2 2017. Led by Léa Wester (UMR 7300 E.S.P.A.C.E., Aix-Marseille Université) and Rémi Desmoulière (CESSMA, INALCO), and with the participation of CODATU, the event was organised into three main topics: (1) Paratransit beyond Global ‘Souths’ ; (2) New technologies’ challenges ; and (3) Paratransit and informality.

For this second seminar, an important number of proposal were received and, ultimately, twelve papers were presented. From Antananarivo to Paris, from Port-au-Prince to Delhi, presentations depicted the multiform logics of paratransit and the diversity of contexts where it exists, always highlighting its core characteristic: flexibility. Xavier Godard, in charge of the closing session, explained that the various modes that form the paratransit sector, the diversity of operators and the varying roles it finds in each city are the base of an ever more complex situation. New optimisation and reorganisation proposals pertaining to paratransit modes, indeed, upset historic equilibriums but do not guarantee improvements in mobility in general. Based on the different presentations, and most notably those of Nico McLachlan and Marie Dols, it appears programmes that acknowledge the duality between paratransit and formal modes and their intertwining can produce more gradual and sustainable approaches towards mobility systems best adapted to Global South contexts.

CODATU’s involvement in these one-days seminars shows its interest in paratransit, a key component of mobility in the Urban South.