Home > About > What we do

What we do

It is our pleasure to welcome you to the Centre for Transport Studies at the University of Cape Town!

We are a diverse community of students and staff who strive to have a positive impact on the way people move in cities in Africa. We do this through our research to build and capture knowledge, and through our teaching to share and further enrich that knowledge. 


Our research centres on six areas: 

  • Paratransit
  • Land use – transport systems
  • Travel behaviour
  • Non-motorised transport
  • Road safety
  • Evaluation and assessment methods

The aspects of each research area are described in detail on our research focus page.

We work hand-in-hand with public agencies, practitioners, communities and a wide network of collaborators to respond directly to urban transport, mobility and accessibility challenges in cities on our continent. 

Why transport studies?

Reliance on privately-owned cars continues to grow. Dependence on fossil energy follows, contributing to health problems and climate change. Walking and cycling are often difficult or dangerous, yet they are how most people move around cities. Despite receiving little state recognition or support, large fleets of small buses, vans, cars, and two- and three-wheelers provide collective public transport and significant employment. These are all trends that we are interested in. 

We look at the politics, policy, demographics, behaviour, infrastructure, operations and many other elements that make it possible to move people, give people options in how they move, and get people where they want to be in Africa’s cities. Understanding and addressing the many issues that arise in this complex systems context requires a multi-disciplinary approach. This is why we deliberately choose to use the inclusive term transport studies in our centre’s name.

Touch points and impact

Join us on our exciting, challenging and rewarding journey to understand these interlinked issues, and to identify what might be done to address them. Do a short course with us. Meet us at one of the upcoming events. Work towards an internationally-recognised postgraduate degree. Collaborate with us in our research, teaching and engagement. Support our work. And help us think of new ways to have a positive impact. See here for options to get involved. Whatever your interest in what we do at CfTS, we hope to hear from you.

Want to stay in the loop?  Sign up to the CfTS mailing list