There are no taxis in Port-au-Prince, but there are tap-taps. These are the highly-adorned pickup trucks shuttling easily a dozen people at a time around town, as a kind of privately-run public transit. It's up to the riders (or, it's been rumored, a designated conductor) to tap the truck when they want to get off. One of our volunteers related his experience riding a tap-tap a few weeks back. Now we look at how these things actually work.
To fit so many people in the bed of a truck, and protect them during the voyage, tap tap drivers have to make their way to a welding garage (or, equally, a welding stand on the roadside). A metal-framed pair of plank benches are welded right to walls of the truck bed. The gate is removed so the benches can stick out the back to carry additional people, and some steps are added not only to make disembarking easier, but to hold even more passengers! For cover, I've seen a lot of trucks lift a camper shell 18-24 inches on steel posts to accommodate the needed head space. This also boosts the passenger space above the cab to profit from ventilation.
Inside strangers are brought nose-to-nose, but the atmosphere is light and there's plenty of lively conversation to carry everybody to their destinations.
Going around town, you're absolutely stunned by the amount of ornamentation, detail and care put into these vehicles. Obviously there's something to be said for a nation where human labor is so inexpensive most of the billboards are hand-painted. NPR's Adam Davidson explores how and why tap taps go the, achem, extra mile–a good 5-minute spot on self-made Haitian economies.