This note analyzes the organization, profitability, and financing of private mass transit services in Abidjan, with an emphasis on private companies, operating minibuses commonly known as "gbakas". The Abidjan case study is part of a regional study launched early in 1999, under the urban mobility component of the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP), covering four cities: Abidjan, Bamako, Harare, and Nairobi, while the regional study was carried out by the Solidarite Internationale sur les Transports et la Recherche en Afrique Subsaharienne. (SITRASS).
The literature gives two explanations for contractors' reluctance to adopt labor-based methods. First, contractors believe the cost of learning this new technology is high. Programs designed to promote labor-based methods have always included subsidized training to address this problem. This study argues that focusing on training often diverts attention away from more substantive problems inherent in adopting labor-based methods.