Taxis and Taxi-Be in Madagascar – Urban Transportation

Since ages, Zebu-drawn carts were the convenient means of transportation. Until now, it is still a widespread means in suburban and rural areas. They even represent an anchored schema of Malagasy civilization, especially as the zebu is the typical symbol of Madagascar.

Historically, in the cities, the four-wheel horse-drawn carriage – or “Vôtiry” was used already since 1900 at the beginning of the period the colonization, right after, by the arrival of the Chinese for railway works, appeared the rickshaw – or “posyposy”, two-wheeled, pulled by men through two stretchers. These two means of transport, goods and / or people, still remain until today in several cities of Madagascar, mainly in Antsirabe, Mahajanga, Toamasina, Toliary

To transport goods and materials, the traditional two-wheeled hand-pulled carts as well as the Varamba – wooden wheelbarrows with four wheels, less robust, pushed from behind served. There are still many of these in several towns and rural communes.

Recently, since 2006/2007, pedicabs have been initiated in the cities mentioned above, often accompanied by NGOs from social and humanitarian projects, in order to gradually replacing the rickshaw and making more “humanized” the work.

In terms of modern and motorized means, we can say that the image has not changed in recent decades. The same cars, 4L, 2CH … of the 70’s and 80’s are still in use as taxi-cities until now (2018). They crisscross the cities and mainly the capital – Antananarivo and the city of Antsiranana. Recently, the Bajaj tricycle come to compete with these old taxis and even replaced them in several cities.

However, since the 90s, the most popular and least expensive – and less comfortable – urban transport mean is the Taxi-Be. It is present in all cities and suburban areas. These are the Minibus Mazda and Mercedes from 18 to 30 seats serving a well defined circuit commonly called ‘line’.

 


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