Perception of Safety within Paratransit Systems: The Case of Minibus in Istanbul

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Melis OĞUZ, Beykent University, Turkey
Fears and concerns about personal safety are important factors in the travel preferences of passengers. The preference of certain travel routes or stops for certain time intervals is a critical indicator for transportation planning. As a matter of fact, according to the results of the survey on fear of crime conducted by Tandoğan and Ilhan in 2016, 56.7% of the participants stated that they were afraid of metro stops and public transports especially during the late evening and when traveling alone. Taking measures to ensure that passenger safety concerns are eliminated or reduced, it is expected that the daily temporal distribution of the demand for public transport will be balanced and quantitatively increased. Reducing the number of passengers using private cars on certain routes and during specific time intervals due to security concerns, increasing the freedom of travel preference for non-car owners as well as for non-car-preferring passengers should be among the policy goals of every democratic city.

The informal system sometimes fills the gaps that are left by the formal system. It even becomes a part of the formal system, in circumstances when the formal cannot keep up with the emerging demands and/or is not prepared for the changes in the social and urban structures. As informality provides a solution for the lacking services, it may be tolerated for a short term or overlooked broadly. The aim of this study is to comprehend the features of the informal public transportation system, particularly the minibus system in Istanbul, which has a great share in the public transportation of this metropolis. It is crucial how such a paratransit system becomes part of the formal transportation network and why it is demanded highly by urban residents despite all of its un-reliabilities and weaknesses in terms of safety and security.