Are local buses, trams, trains or taxis safe and affordable?

Expats do not use public transport. - Jul 2020

Local taxis are very small and pretty uncomfortable for tall people. They don't have seat belts and frequently carry water bottles full of gas in the trunk. However, in my experience they're safe so long as you don't pull out your cell phone near an open window. You can get most places in Tana for less than $6. - Mar 2017

Local taxis and vans are rickety, barely intact and usually jam-packed. Cheap to take a taxi, is it safe? Your seat belt might not work and if you ignore the hole in the floor while holding the door closed, you should be good... Very few trains in Mada, though a couple exist. - Jun 2016

There is no real train service. Most taxis are 1960's Citroens and Renaults left as a legacy from French colonial times. Many times the interiors are stripped bare, and they have so much filler on them they resemble the Adobe from the Saturday Night Live skit. Taxi-bes and Taxi-brousses (City buses and overland buses, respectively) are verboten for us to take. - Oct 2015

I've never had a problem with local transport. It's generally safe. The main issues are some recent concerns over bandits hitting group taxis on national routes between major cities at night, although I hear this is improving. The group taxis have dealt with it by forming convoys so they don't travel alone. Police also sometimes offer to ride in the vehicle if there is a particular concern. The other main issue is the drivers getting drowsy on the road. It happens every once in a while that there's an accident because of this, but it's the exception. - Mar 2015

No. Robbery and theft are common. Taxis might be slightly safer than buses, but the taxis are all Renaults from the 1960s and are very lacking in general safety features. US Embassy personnel are forbidden from using public transportation of any kind. - Apr 2013

There are no local trains and long distance buses are not recommended. They are uncomfortable, take a long time, and are becoming unsafe. Taxis are ok and relatively safe. - Apr 2010

Took local taxis (called a Taxibe in city and Taxibrousse outside city) and cabs. Both safe. The Taxibe's very crowded and not really roadworthy by western standards. - Dec 2008

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