The economic and social development of a large part of rural populations, especially in the developing world, is being held back by limited, unreliable or expensive access to markets and essential services. This problem is perpetuated by the continued bias towards the development of rural transport infrastructure, and the relative neglect of passenger and freight services operating on such infrastructure. In many developing countries where rural transport services do exist, they are often expensive, of poor quality and unreliable. The supply of rural transport tends to be dominated by cartels, and farmers need to pay significant sums for often‐unreliable freight services. For most poorer developing countries, road building and maintenance is the only form of assistance provided for rural transport, and the provision for transport services is very much left up to the informal market. The absence of well functioning markets may hamper the improvement of rural transport services. To address these issues, the authors recommend additional research and increased collection of basic information; new approaches to regulating rural transport services; incorporation of rural transport services in government and donor rural infrastructure programs; appropriate subsidy schemes for rural transport services; and innovative use of ICT to support rural transport services.
Hine, J.; Huizenga, C.; Willilo, S. Financing Rural Transport Services in Developing Countries: Challenges and Opportunities. ReCAP, Cardno, Thame, UK (2015) 26 pp.