Transportation is a cross-sectoral enterprise that requires skills across a broad range of disciplines, including planning, engineering, economics, management, and social sciences. The Centre for Transport Development (CTD) provides a platform for nurturing and coordinating linkages across these various disciplines at UP, to the benefit of both our students and industry partners. As a collaborative research entity, the CTD draws mainly on researchers and academics from the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with additional specialist skills available from the Department of Town and Regional Planning and the Department of Informatics.
The Centre for Transport Development (CTD) pursues research and continuing education opportunities across four main focus areas:
UP joins BRT+ Centre of Excellence
The Centre for Transport Development has recently joined the Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence, an international research collaboration that aims to develop scientific knowledge and dissemination around planning, design, financing, implementation and operation of BRT in different urban areas. Funded by the Volvo Research and Education Foundation for a five-year period, the Centre is lead by Pontificia Universidad Católica in Santiago, Chile, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Pretoria, the University of Sydney and the World Resources Institute as core partners. UP's involvement wil specifically be aimed at promoting and undertaking research and outreach on BRT in the context of African cities and their public transport.
To read more, see the BRT+ COE website.
Do Bus Rapid Transit systems help improve equity?
Research published recently by the Centre for Transport Development looked at the evidence worldwide on the question of whether BRT systems actually help to improve conditions for poorer communities in our cities. Read a recent blog post on The City Fix for more information, or download the full research paper (available for free for a limited time).
Moving towards public transport-based cities
Mr Andrew Marsay, transport economist, presented a seminar at the Centre for Transport Development on 12 May 2017. He reviewed recent evidence on how much public transport is costing the country, and asked whether spending priorities are aligned with social policies. He sketched three scenarios for how SA cities might deal with mobility in future, including remaining with the status quo (deferring to the car, and allowing public transport to decline), optimising for low densities, and choosing higher density, higher value mixes of land use and transport investment. He argues that only the latter has a chance of delivering a future with better efficiency and equity. However this requires hard political choices to be made, as well as better tools for measuring and advocating for the wider economic benefits of a public transport future.
A copy of his presentation can be downloaded here.
Developing a common narrative on urban accessibility
The Brookings Institution (Washington, DC) has published a series of reports aimed at cultivating a conversation amongst transportation, urban planning, and fiscal professionals worldwide around the need for moving from a mobility-based to an accessibility-based paradigm for urban development. Prof Christo Venter from the CTD contributed a piece on the transportation perspective on accessibility, arguing that accessibility concepts need clarification and further operationalisation to become a more useful tool in the transportation toolbox.
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