Opportunities and Challenges for Addressing Personal Security on Public Transport Through ICTs in South African Cities
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Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)
While technologies providing basic passenger information on public transport stops, fares, routes, and timetables have proliferated in South Africa, information needs surrounding personal security have gone largely unmet. Personal security on public transport is a major concern in South African cities, where crime levels are some of the highest globally. Despite municipal governments’ responsibility for promoting security in public transport, and for making relevant information on public transport accessible, fragmented authority for ensuring passenger security makes a coordinated approach through traditional methods like policing, that rely on external collaboration, difficult. Information and communications technologies offer the opportunity to bridge this fragmentation to gather a more nuanced understanding of security concerns, provide passengers with valuable information, and implement targeted strategies to reduce incidents onboard, en route, and at stations/stops. This chapter discusses the opportunities for, and challenges of, addressing personal passenger security through the use of information and communications technology in South African cities given potential barriers to user adoption. Local and international precedents tapping into technologies offer diverse approaches to the multifaceted security challenges South African public transport users face on a daily basis. Given the growth in smartphone adoption, communications technologies are a promising avenue to bridging the data gap needed to support data-driven decisions, but barriers to technological use prevail such as mobile data access and institutional distrust. Overcoming challenges to user adoption can pave the way for technologies to aid in providing essential passenger security information despite the hurdles siloed operators and authorities present.
- Book Chapter