On the margins of mobility: shaping the city in a tuktuk

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One of the aspects that is increasingly under stress in rapidly growing cities in the Global South is mobility. Rising demand for transport alongside a lack of government response has led to the emergence of an informal mobility sector that functions alongside formal mobility systems. Using concepts such as informality, the livelihoods approach and assemblage theory as well as translocality, accessibility and transport justice, this research aims to study the role that informal mobility systems play in addressing the mobility needs of urban dwellers in Matareya in Cairo. Besides an extensive literature review, the primary methods used were a participant observation and semi-structured interviews during a ride-along with tuktuks in the research area. The research found that the system of tuktuks is very flexible in terms of space, time and pricing which provides a solution to the ‘last-mile’ problem. Moreover, it found that the livelihoods of both providers and users of tuktuks are characterised by precarity. Lastly, the informal mobility system has elements such as flexible pricing that point towards a sense of solidarity with the most vulnerable members of society, and hereby are key to providing greater accessibility and a degree of social security for marginalised groups.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen