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Ana Maria Vargas Falla

Ana Maria Vargas Falla

Director of first and second cycle studies

Ana Maria Vargas Falla

Informal Transportation in Congested Streets


  • Ana Maria Vargas Falla

Summary, in English

Rickshaws are a common form of transportation in many cities in the world. However, rickshaw transportation is often a service provided informally and drivers lack a license to operate. Consequently, drivers experience harassment and the confiscation of their vehicles by the police. Local governments also argue about the need to formalize (legalize) urban transportation and recover control over “congested” and “disordered streets”. This paper explores rickshaw drivers’ practices of resistance to local regulations that make illegal this form of transportation. Drawing on field data from Bogotá (2012-2014), this research illustrates that although rickshaw drivers work outside the formal regulations of the state, they have organized their work in associations that control different routes and spots in the streets. This paper shows that neither formalization nor self-regulation can support the wellbeing of rickshaw drivers. Instead, this paper argues about the need for a plural regulation in which local governments sets basic rules to prevent exploitation among drivers controlling the streets.


  • Department of Sociology of Law

Publishing year





Congress of Italian Geographers

Document type

Conference paper


  • Law and Society
  • Social Anthropology


  • rickshaw
  • informal transportation
  • regulation
  • social control