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Monitoring Safety of Semi-Formal Public Transport

Technology Kenya

In much of the developing world, road traffic accidents have become the number one cause of death, with a substantial share of accidents due to informal public transport. Frictions such as lack of information or limited options may prevent passengers from rewarding firms providing safer public transport. To evaluate how well demand forces discipline the public transport market, we provide safety information based on measurements from bus tracking devices to commuters in Nairobi, Kenya. By comparing commuter choice in the information treatment condition to a control condition and a price discount condition, we are able to estimate to what extent commuters are misinformed and their willingness to pay for safer options. We can then observe whether the supply side of public transport providers responds to changes in commuter demand. Outcomes can guide governments in designing policy that improves public transport safety. Results forthcoming.

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