News and events

INFORMAL TRANSPORT WORKERS IN ACCRA: Livelihoods, Organisation and Issues

Accra’s passenger transport system is dominated by a large paratransit industry, primarily informally operated buses and minibuses (“trotros”) and motorcycle taxis (“okada”) and taxis. In common with most major African cities, Accra’s streets are highly congested. The paratransit industry has also become notorious for inefficiency, violent criminality, pollution and corruption.

On the other hand, it offers cheap transport essential for the more than four million commuters and is highly flexible and responsive. It also informally employs hundreds of thousands of people in a city where earnings are poor and where employment is scarce.

The transformation of Accra’s informal public transport into a more efficient, less congested and more environmentally sustainable system is a critical issue for national and local government in Ghana.

This report analyses the paratransit industry in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA) from a socio-economic perspective. It provides a description of the informal transport workforce in Accra, including those working in the trotro minibus, taxi and okada (motorcycle taxi) industries. It examines workforce characteristics, livelihoods and employment relationships, provides in-depth economic profiles of operations, identifies key issues, and considers options for formalisation.

The main objective is to support a public transport reform and streamlining of the highly fragmented paratransit sector. The findings, analyses and recommendations are meant to support a constructive engagement with stakeholders

The report is based on research undertaken by GLI in 2021 in partnership with the University of Cape Coast and transport trade unions in Ghana, as part of a broader project with Transitec Consulting Engineers and Organisation Development Africa (ODA), commissioned by the Ghana Urban Mobility and Accessibility Project (GUMAP) of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.

Click here to read this report.

News and events

Informal Passenger Transport Beyond COVID-19: A 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. As with all crises, it is the most vulnerable in the workforce who have been hit the hardest.

GLI Manchester was commissioned by the International Transportworkers’ Federation (ITF) as a contribution to the ITF’s Our Public Transport (OPT) programme to produce a guide to worker-led formalisation in informal passenger transport.

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.

Click here to read the guide.

News and events

Dakar Bus Rapid Transit Report

Dakar 1Dakar Bus Rapid Transit: Labour Impact Assessment Research Report

GLI Manchester is pleased to announce that the Dakar Bus Rapid Transit: Labour Impact Assessment Research Report is now available to view and download in both English and French.

Click here to read this report in English.

Click here to read this report in French.

This is the provisional report of research commissioned by the ITF and undertaken in partnership with the Laboratoire de Géographie Humaine at the University of Dakar (UCAD), and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing & Organizing (WIEGO). It is a contribution to the ITF’s Our Public Transport (OPT) programme.

This project is the second BRT Labour Impact Assessment undertaken on behalf of the ITF. The first, completed in January 2019, was carried out in Nairobi by GLI in partnership with the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Nairobi. This report is available here.

News and events

ITF Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit Report


GLI Manchester is pleased to announce that the Nairobi Bus Rapid Transit Report is now available to view and download.

This report of research has been commissioned for GLI Manchester by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) as a contribution to the ITF Our Public Transport (OPT) programme.

This report assesses the potential impact of the introduction of Bus Rapid Transit on the workforce of Nairobi’s informal 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.