Photo: Capito

The African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport, Cape Town, South Africa (ACET)

Focus on Public Transport and Paratransit as well as Non-motorised Transport

The African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport (ACET), established in 2008, is led by the Centre for Transport Studies at the University of Cape Town, with Professor Roger Behrens as Project Leader. Other core partners include the Department of Transportation and Geotechnical Engineering at the University of Dar es Salaam, and the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi.

Roger Behrens

Roger Behrens joined the Department of Civil Engineering in 2002 as a Senior Lecturer, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2007. Previously he worked for the Urban Problems Research Unit. He is the Director of the Centre for Transport Studies (CfTS), and the Director of the African Centre of Excellence for Studies in Public and Non-motorised Transport (ACET). The latter is a collaboration with universities in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam funded by the VREF. He graduated with a Master Degree in City and Regional Planning (with distinction) from UCT in 1991 and with a PhD degree in 2002. His core research and consultancy experience is in travel surveys and travel behaviour, public transport planning and regulation, and site layout planning and neighbourhood movement networks.

ACET is a collaborative research centre focussing on the development and governance of passenger transport systems in African cities.

The principal focus has been on case studies in Cape Town, Dar es Salaam and Nairobi, but through their research ACET aims to contribute to knowledge that is relevant to broader regional, national and international contexts. ACET’s research programme is focused in two main areas: Public Transport and Paratransit; and Non-motorised Transport. Both of these research areas are situated in a context of government agencies with low capacities, limited resources and poorly-developed planning frameworks. ACET aims to empower researchers in Africa to set their own research agendas and engage directly on urban transport challenges.

ACET recently published the book “Paratransit in African Cities – Operations, Regulation and Reform" (Earthscan, 2016).

ACET has published a VREF research synthesis report "The case for investing in paratransit - Strategies for regulation and reform" (June 2017), which summarize the book in an "easy-to-access" format. The aim is to reach a wider audience than the book publication through its online availability, and by publishing in three languages: English, French and Portuguese.

Host organisation:
Department of Civil Engineering, the University of Cape Town
Link to the Centre's Website

October 2019
Upcoming Events
Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa Su
v40    1 2 3 4 5 6
v41  7 8 9 10 11 12 13
v42  14 15 16 17 18 19 20
v43  21 22 23 24 25 26 27
v44  28 29 30 31      



The current Call is mainly directed to sub-Saharan university-based researchers with expertise on sustainable and equitable mobility and access in sub-Saharan African cities, and/or previously engaged in transport-related research, and strongly interested in carrying out interdisciplinary research on issues related to sustainable and equitable mobility and access,

Call open until 2019-10-15


The VREF invites PhD students and researchers in early stages of their career to apply for a Study Visit Grant to be supported with up to SEK 30 000.

Invitation open until 2019-10-31

Blog! Blog! Blog!

Global Mobility Research

This Meeting of the Minds' blog monthly releases interviews of global transportation researchers from the VREF's Future Urban Transport Program Network.


This CityFix series, produced by the WRI (World Ressources Institute) Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and supported by the VREF, discusses walking and cycling in cities with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries.

Each year the Håkan Frisinger Foundation for Transportation Research awards a scholarship to a prominent researcher.


About VREF

The Volvo Research and Educational Foundations (VREF) inspires, initiates and supports research and educational activities through the Future Urban Transport Programme - How to deal with the complexity of urban transport (FUT). 

Our Vision: Sustainable transport for equitable access in urban areas

Read more

© Copyright VREF