Public and non-motorized transit in sub Saharan Africa

Research summary

Phase I of this project was to understand the business models, governance structures and public perceptions of the the informal and paratransit sectors of public transport in three case study cities: Cape Town, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

Phase II, still unfunded, is to provide some low cost solutions or partial solutions to deficiencies identified in Phase I.


The three case study cities were each studied by universities in their home cities with respect to how well their public transport systems functioned. A multi disciplinary team used interviews, field surveys and governmental data analysis to determine how the businesses were structured financially and operated on a daily basis, how they were regulated and governed (or not), and what plans were in place in each city to improve the transport sector.

Also, similarities and differences between cities were identified as well as possible lessons to be learned from other places, including west Africa, South America and South Asia.

Research results are summarized in a book shortly forthcoming from Routledge on African Paratransit.

More information

Research publication

Research info

Research title
Public and non-motorized transit in sub Saharan Africa

Research timeline
1.4.2008 - 1.4.2012

informal transport public transport in developing countries sub Saharan African cities transport governance


Finland, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, United Republic Of

University of Cape Town
Built Environment
Cape Town , South Africa

Funding instrument

Project budget
200,000 - 500,000 euros

Head of research
Roger Behrens, U of Cape Town

Research team
Marianne Vanderschuren, U of Cape Town, Romano Del Mistro, U of Cape Town, Dorothy McCormack, U of Nairobi, David Mfinanga, U of Dar Es Salaam, Eric Bruun, Aalto University

U of Cape Town, U of Nairobi, U of Dar es Salaam, Aalto University (separately funded)

Contact information
Eric Bruun
044 3355509
Open link

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