Welcome to Makeshift Mobility
Tracking innovations in informal transportation
Welcome to Makeshift Mobility, a newsletter about innovations in informal transportation.
Silicon Valley unicorns get all the love but mobility innovations from the bottom up are making cities and the planet better for the people who use and who operate informal transport. (Especially the urban poor.) My hope is we can mobilize the world’s attention and resources to empower the transformation of makeshift mobility in our cities because…
Informal transportation is: 1) ubiquitous in the global south; 2) ignored in policy; 3) despised in planning; and, 4) represent probably the single greatest lever to decarbonizing the transportation sector.
What is informal transportation?
They come by many names: matatus, tro-tros, caminionetas, collectivos, jeepneys, autorickshaws, trisikads, minibuses, mega taxis, tuktuks, okadas, moto-dubs, etc. —two wheels, three wheels, or four; human powered or engine powered—informal transportation very likely moves and employs more people than all the city trains, buses, and taxis around the world. They provide mobility and livelihoods for mostly low income and the poor.
I’m Benjie de la Pena, I’m a strategist and design thinker and I work on urban development issues related to technology, sustainable transportation, and informal systems. In this newsletter, we’ll talk about how new approaches and technology are changing the way these services operate.
New business/service models
So, if you’re a transportation geek, a policy wonk, if you love cities, and if you want ethical, just, and sustainable innovations, subscribe to this newsletter.