Cape Verde's main interurban public transport hubs, the Hiace minibus stations, provide a look into the patterns and processes of mobility, urbanization, and aspirations for modernity in the archipelago. In this article, we examine the history of Hiace vehicles, the regulations and rules governing their circulation, the social status of drivers as mobility providers, and everyday interactions between passengers and drivers in the central Hiace minibus station of Sucupira, on the island of Santiago. The formation of a cooperative unit inside the Hiace is at the core of these interactions, challenging the usual preconceptions about practices of "capturing passengers" in the station. The multiplicity of social relations embedded in the station and during the trips, we argue, reflects popular forms of self-organization and cooperation in traveling, as well as notions of mobility, social status, and culture that articulate everyday life for both collective transport drivers and working-class commuters in Cape Verdean society.


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pp. 34-49
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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