This Is What Informal Transit Looks Like When You Actually Map It | visual data |
An experiment from Nairobi with implications for the urbanizing world.

As transit systems go, the "matatus" in Nairobi exist somewhere between underground gypsy cabs and MTA bus service. The minibuses themselves aren't owned by any government agency. The fares aren't regulated by the city. The routes are vaguely based on a bus network that existed in Nairobi some 30 years ago, but they've since shifted and multiplied and expanded.

Not surprisingly, many passengers on board know little about them, either. Riders who navigate the matatu system rely on it in parts, using only the lines they know and the unofficial stops they're sure actually exist. As for the network as a whole – there's never even been a map of it...