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The Impact of Flooding on Urban Transit and Accessibility: A Case Study of Kinshasa

Transportation networks underpin socioeconomic development by enabling the movement of goods and people. However, little is known about how flooding disrupts transportation systems in urban areas in developing country cities, despite these natural disasters occurring frequently. This study documents the channels through which regular flooding in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo, impacts transport services, commuters' ability to reach their jobs, and the associated economic opportunity costs from travel delays. This assessment is based on transit feed specification data sets collected specifically for this analysis under normal and flooded conditions. These data sets were combined with travel survey data containing travelers' socioeconomic attributes and trip parameters, as well as a high-resolution flood maps. The results show that (1) flood disruptions cause increases in public transit headways and transit re-routing, decreases in travel speeds, and thus travel time delays, which translate into substantial economic costs to local commuters; (2) accessibility to jobs decreases under flooded conditions, hindering the establishment of an integrated citywide labor market; (3) there are spatial clusters where some of the poorest commuters experience among the highest travel delays, highlighting socio-spatial equity aspects of floods; (4) certain road segments are critical for the transport network and should be prioritized for resilience measures; and (5) the estimated daily cost of flood disruption to commuters’ trips in Kinshasa is $1,166,000. The findings of this assessment provide disaster mitigation guidance to the Office des Voiries et Drainage under the Ministry of Infrastructure, as well as strategic investment recommendations to the Ministry of Housing and Planning.
Author: He, Yiyi; Thies, Stephan; Avner, Paolo; Rentschler, Jun
Language: English
Pubished By: World Bank
Pubished date: 2020

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