Skip to main content

Bus Rapid Transit

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a public transport system designed to improve capacity and reliability in congested cities. It is based on dedicated road lanes that cannot be used by vehicles other than large buses operated by BRT companies. BRT involves building new roads, interchanges, terminals and modern stations along the routes.

All over the world, cities like Nairobi, Dakar and Abidjan are encouraged by the World Bank and national governments to adopt BRT. They believe that BRT will ease congestion, increase efficiency, and reduce air pollution.

The ITF works with transport unions in target cities to strengthen the voice of workers in the development of BRT systems and to negotiate the transition from informal to formal work. As part of this work the ITF has produced the guides and reports below.

 Trade union guide to worker-led formalisation

Covid-19 has already had a profound economic and health impact on the lives of millions of informal transport workers, and the crisis shows little sign of abating. This guide aims to support unions in both responding to the immediate challenges posed by the pandemic and embarking on new campaigns to positively shape urban transport in the interests of workers, passengers and communities beyond the crisis.

Dakar Bus Rapid Transit: Labour Impact Assessment Research Report 2020

The report was carried out by the Laboratory of Human Geography (LABOGEHU) at Cheikh Anta Diop University, Dakar, Senegal and the Global Labour Institute (GLI) in Manchester, UK. It highlights the difficult working conditions and major issues faced by workers, including job insecurity, long hours, low pay, sexual harassment, police harassment and lack of facilities.  It also looks the impact the new BRT system will have on the current workforce and provides an estimate of the number of livelihoods that may be at risk.  

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and the formalisation of informal public transport: a trade union negotiating guide 

This guide was commissioned from the Global Labour Institute (GLI) by the ITF. It develops policy options for transport unions to consider when planning negotiations with agencies on the introduction of BRT and formalisation of the informal transport industry. It is designed for ITF-affiliated transport unions in Africa and Asia (where BRT is rapidly expanding), but may be of value to all trade unions organising in urban transport.

Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit: labour impact assessment research report

This report assesses the potential impact of the introduction of BRT on the workforce of Nairobi’s informal public transport (‘matatu’) industry, and seeks to encourage the active engagement of matatu workers’ representatives in shaping a modern, accessible, efficient and environmentally sustainable transport system for the city. As far as we are aware, this remains the only assessment of the impact of BRT on employment in Nairobi, or any other city in Africa.

Organising booklets for trade unions in Nairobi

The ITF produced the booklets at the link above for three affiliated transport unions that are working to inform public transport workers in the informal sector about the BRT project in the city.

The Power of Informal Transport Workers

An educational booklet for trade unions on organising informal workers in the passenger transport industry. Informal public transport workers are potentially the most severely impacted group by the introduction of BRT.