These roads were made for walking? The nature and use of rural public transport services in Garut Regency, West Java, Indonesia
Public passenger transport services receive relatively little space in the literatures on rural transport in developing economies, which mostly focus on the provision, or socioeconomic impacts, of roads. The implication is either that rural people are able to purchase or have access to motorized transport – or that they can walk on thoroughfares intended for vehicles. Statistics from Indonesia show that a low proportion of rural households own motor vehicles, but that rural bus services have seen a substantial expansion since the late 1970s; however, the coverage of the rural population is not complete. Based on survey data from villages (desa) in West Java, Indonesia, this paper explores several issues with respect to bus operations and motorcycle taxi (ojek) services in rural areas: the nature of public passenger services, the users of those services and the nature of trips made.