The creation of CETUD in 1997 occurred in a context of urban transport crisis characterized, on the one hand, by a rapid and sometimes anarchic acceleration of urbanization in the Dakar metropolitan area, with an annual growth rate of about 4% and a population increase of nearly 50% between 1978 and 1988, to exceed 1.5 million in 1990.
The second reason for the creation of the CETUD is the imperfect control of transport supply and demand, characterized by a low motorization rate (estimated at 34 per 1,000 inhabitants in 2003), an outdated fleet (average age of 20 years for public transport), poor quality infrastructure favoring numerous traffic conflicts and a loss of commercial speed, and transport operators in difficulty (poor management and inability to meet investment needs).
The CETUD was to put an end to the scattered decisionmaking centers that had been observed to locate final responsibility for public transport and to ensure better coordination of public transport, through a concerted approach involving the State, local authorities, and the private sector.
Since its creation, CETUD has undertaken several projects, including the following:
- The Urban Mobility Improvement Program (PAMU), from 2002 to 2009, financed by the World Bank and the Nordic Development Fund. The program consisted of four components including infrastructure projects and the renewal of the bus fleet launched in 2005 with the creation of the Association for the Financing of Urban Transport Professionals (AFTU), to modernize urban transport and professionalize the actors. To date, more than 2,000 buses have been acquired and distributed on 128 lines in Dakar and the country's secondary cities;
- The development of the Urban Transport Plan for the Dakar Metropolitan Area (PDUD) 2008-2025. The PDUD is a planning and programming document that defines the objectives to be achieved and the actions to be undertaken to organize, in a sustainable manner, the movement of people and goods in the urban area. It advocates the promotion of public transport and active modes (such as walking and cycling) and the rationalization of car use;
- The Urban Mobility Improvement Project (PATMUR), starting in 2010, financed by the World Bank. One of the components of the financing was designed to strengthen, among others, CETUD, AFTU, Dakar Dem Dikk, the Petit Train de Banlieue and the Mutual Savings and Credit Union for Transporters (MECTRANS). This program also made it possible to finance studies for the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) or bus on reserved lanes project;
- The development of an Urban Travel Policy Letter (LPDU). This update has allowed for an adaptation more in line with the current context of travel in the Dakar metropolitan area marked by the adoption of the Emerging Senegal Plan and the reform of local authorities (Act III of Decentralization);
- CETUD is currently acting as project manager for the BRT project, whose work was recently launched;
- In parallel with the BRT project, CETUD has begun restructuring the public transport network, for which technical studies are currently being carried out;