The Global Network for Popular Transportation is a global network of researchers, consultants, advocates, companies, agencies and institutions committed to changing how the world sees popular (a.k.a. “informal”) transportation.


Media Contact    Feb. 9, 2023
Megan Perrero, Partnerships & Engagement Specialist
[email protected]

The Global Network for Popular Transportation (GNPT) is now a project of the Shared-Use Mobility Center (SUMC), allowing the two entities to pool their collective resources and expertise to further achieve their mission in advancing shared mobility. 

“Shared mobility and popular (informal) transportation are two-sides of the same coin. They both address mobility needs by providing more options for people to get from where they are to where they need to go without the burdens of private car ownership,” said Benjamin de la Peña, chair of GNPT and CEO of SUMC. “GNPT benefits from SUMC’s deep understanding of shared mobility and shared mobility platforms. SUMC benefits from GNPT’s global network and insights from self-organized mobility systems.”

GNPT, formerly the Global Partnership for Informal Transportation, was initiated by Agile City Partners and supported by CoMotion Inc. It is a global network of researchers, consultants, advocates, companies, agencies and institutions committed to changing how the world sees popular transportation. Popular transportation is the privately provided, publicly serving local transportation services and systems that emerge in nearly every city in the Global South. They go by many local names—ojeks, tuk-tuks, jeepneys, matatus, danfos, dala dalas, boda bodas, minibus taxis, microlets, angkots, marshrutkas, diablos rojos, bajajas, colectivos, boda bodas, dollar vans, etc. They run on two-wheels, three-wheels, or four-wheels. They are pedal or motor powered and can even be electric.  

De la Peña continued, “Popular transportation likely serves the vast majority of shared rides in cities, towns and rural areas around the world where shared mobility platforms already work with popular transportation. These systems proliferate in almost every city, town, village, and rural area of low- and middle-income countries. They also operate in the underserved fringes of high-income countries. SUMC and GNPT being under the same roof will accelerate cross-learning from both sectors. SUMC and GNPT share a commitment to address climate change, social and economic inequality, accessibility and affordability.”

GNPT believes that popular transportation can play a crucial role in decarbonizing transportation through a Just Transition. GNPT sees these transport systems as powerful engines for economic mobility and for creating more sustainable and inclusive cities.

To fully realize popular transport’s potential, GNPT aims to ensure that:

  • Cities, countries, international development agencies and banks recognize popular transportation as valid, essentia, and important services.
  • All popular transportation modes are integrated into urban, transport, social, economic, and climate policy and planning efforts.
  • The key sectors in popular transportation are recognized and participate as equal partners in co-creating accessible, equitable and sustainable cities. These include workers, entrepreneurs, micro-, small- and medium enterprises, and small-scale investors.
  • The world takes an asset-based framework to understanding popular transportation, moving away from simplistic and ineffective approaches focused solely on transportation efficiency, to an approach that prioritizes valuing the environment, advancing equity and empowering people and communities.

To support its mission, GNPT highlights successful efforts at improving working conditions, formulating better policies and improving regulations, and integrating and empowering popular transport.It also advocates for approaches to data and technology that seek to improve the environmental and economic sustainability, business operations, service quality, and working conditions of popular transportation.

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SUMC is 501(c)(3) nonprofit, public interest organization, working to replace car-centric transportation with people-focused shared mobility to fight climate change, promote equity, and strengthen community. Learn more at