Exploring access to transport in Liberia

Liberia lies along the West African coast, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire. The World Bank is supporting Liberia's poverty reduction strategy to rebuilding of core functions and institutions, rehabilitate infrastructure, and facilitate growth. As part of this, ITP have been appointed by the World Bank to undertake a transport study in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, to understand the issues with getting around the city for the poorest inhabitants. 

Previous work in Monrovia has identified challenges with the city’s transport network:

  • A lack of resources for delivering effective formal public transport, 
  • Variations in road pavement condition, 
  • Widespread use of three-wheelers (‘keh-kehs’) and motorcycle taxis, leading to poor road safety and chronic congestion.

Our work with the World Bank and local partners, including the Ministry of Public Works and the University of Liberia, involved compiling a comprehensive data set to create an up-to-date picture of the current state of the transport system. 

Monrovia Bike
Monrovia Street

Using ITP’s smartphone data collection apps, we can build a detailed picture of the larger informal public transport systems that are available (for example, shared taxis and minibuses), which can then be compared to the local census to understand accessibility for different neighbourhoods. 

Meanwhile, focus groups with people from different communities and from a variety of demographic groups will identify the way in which people access transport, identifying positives, challenges, and limitations of the current informal system.

This project will build on previous work of local partners and the World Bank, using new analysis to identify priority interventions of different types ranging from ‘quick wins’, where significant benefits can be gained from minimal investment and that are readily implementable, to identifying the needs for longer-term investment. An important factor in delivery is how to enable the existing private sector transport providers to meet identified needs.

Keep an eye out for more information relating to ITP's International Month as we're sharing more articles, blogs, and case studies about some of the work we're involved with overseas.