Multiple Marginality and the Emergence of Popular Transport: ‘Saloni’ Taxi-Tricycles in Abidjan, Ivory Coast

Journal article

Popular transport is the most significant form of urban mobility in the majority urban world and will continue to play an important role even as cities around the world overhaul and upgrade their transport systems.

Since January 2019 a new type of popular transport, taxi-tricycles locally named “salonis,” has taken root at the peripheries of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. This article offers an initial description of this new mode of mobility, the service it offers, the labor force it draws on, the forms of regulation that govern it, the spatial practices it has engendered, and its implications for sustainable urban mobility. We show that this new transport option has evolved from within the existing norms and practices of the city’s existing popular transport sector.

Arguing that salonis have emerged at the intersection of multiple overlapping marginality – spatial, infrastructural, socio-economic, legal, and regulatory – we contribute to multi-disciplinary conceptualization of urban margins as a site of infrastructural creation and the production of space. Based on our analysis, we posit three possible future trajectories for salonis: illegality, expulsion, and experimentatio

Jacob Doherty
Vakaramoko Bamba
Irène Kassi-Djodjo
Article 964, 2021
Sustainable Cities