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Explore our work
Our research projects contribute to the design, improvement and optimisation of infrastructure, transport, logistics and supply chain initiatives around the world.

Our major projects

Academics at ITLS are undertaking essential research into the unprecedented impacts that the COVID-19 crisis is having on transport and logistics both here in Australia and overseas. Our experts are creating thought pieces on a range of pertinent issues including the impact the crisis is having on public transport and traffic congestion as well as lessons to be learnt from overseas. We are also regularly being called upon for media comments. You can view our work to date below. 

Working from Home (WFH) and Implications for Revision of Metropolitan Strategic Transport Models
Our productive relationship with the iMOVE CRC continues with yet another project. This time, researchers from ITLS are teaming up with Transport for Main Roads, Queensland to track the travel activity and positions in relation to WFH of the Australian population through a longitudinal data plan. The aim is to understand what this might mean as we interpret responses from employers and employees to WFH until we reach some equilibrium, possibly when vaccination is widespread. Professors David Hensher and John Nelson, Associate Professor Matt Beck, Drs Camila Balbontin and Edward Wei and Andre Pinto will all be contributing to this timely study.

The ‘new normal’ for post-pandemic supply chains
On July 27th, ITLS held its third COVID-19 webinar; discussing the ‘new normal’ for post-pandemic supply chains with insights from experts from academia, MetCash Trading Limited and Vanderlande Industries Australia. You can view the recording on YouTube and also access the Q&A responses from the panellists (pdf, 187KB). 

The Future of Global Logistics
On June 17th, ITLS held its second successful webinar; this time discussing the future of global logistics in a post-COVID 19 world featuring experts from academia, Emirates, Coles Express and Trackster Global. You can view the recording on YouTube and also access Q&A responses from the panellists (pdf, 260KB). 

The Immediate and Long Term Implications of COVID-19 on Transport, Logistics and Lifestyle - Webinar
On May 11, ITLS held a successful webinar on the Immediate and Long Term Implications of COVID-19 on Transport, Logistics and Lifestyle featuring experts from academia, the insurance industry, urban mobility and infrastructure. View the hour-long recording on what is a very insightful and timely discussion, on YouTube. You can also read the Q&A (pdf, 220KB). 

Survey finds majority of Australians concerned about hygiene on public transport
Preliminary findings of a University of Sydney survey on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on Australians' travel activities suggest over 80 percent of respondents are concerned about hygiene on public transport.

A Supply Chain Perspective on the Novel Coronavirus
Understanding the development of the Novel Coronavirus from a supply chain perspective is essential if we are to prevent similar public health crises in the future, writes Dr Geoffrey Clifton.

COVID-19 risk on public transport: What we can learn from overseas
Australia can learn from how other countries are reducing the spread of the virus on public transport, writes Yale Zhuxiao Wong. 

For public transport to keep running, operators must find ways to outlast coronavirus
Yale Zhuxiao Wong explains how there are significant strategic and financial consequences for transport operators and their workforces as a result of COVID-19. 

Public mass emergency planning and the overlooked role of “behavioural intervention”
Planning for public disaster mitigation and emergencies like COVID-19 should include behavioural intervention, treating people as an ally rather than a problem to control, writes Dr Milad Haghani.

Capped Uber and taxi fares to boost public transport: new survey
Around half of all people living in major Australian cities would abandon their private cars if they could travel up to five kilometres to a public transport hub by Uber and taxi for a capped fare of $5, according a survey by the University of Sydney Business School.

Business asked to take its mobility pulse for post COVID 19 response
The Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies and the Business Council of Sustainable Development Australia have launched a survey to determine how prepared business is for mobility shocks and how it will pivot once the community is mobile again.

David Hensher on COVID-19 and transport
iMOVE asks Professor David Hensher, Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at The University of Sydney Business School, his thoughts on just how COVID-19 is having an impact on transport, both now and in the future.

Quo Vadis air travel after COVID-19?
It is estimated that 50 million jobs will be lost world-wide in the travel and tourism industry. Associate Professor Matthew Beck explores what could happen to the sector post crisis. 

The scientific literature on Coronaviruses, COVID-19 and its associated safety-related research dimensions: A scientometric analysis and scoping review
Dr Milad Haghani, Professor Michiel Bliemer, Floris Goerlandt and Jie Li analyse the bibliometric aspects of COVID-19 studies on a macro level, as well as those addressing Coronaviruses in general.

Yale Wong on COVID-19 and public transport
Honorary Associate Yale Wong offers his thoughts on the pandemic’s impact on public transport in this opinion piece for iMove Australia. 

Coronavirus: What is happening with public transport around the world for essential trips
An interview by Driven Media conducted with Honorary Associate Yale Wong, looking at how public transport is handled around the world in the wake of COVID-19. 

Managing public transit through COVID-19
Transit Unplugged interviews guests from across the world, including Honorary Associate Yale Wong, about how their plans in handling COVID-19 and public transport. 

Public Transport Responses to COVID-19
Honorary Associate Yale Wong was a panellist on a UITPANZ webinar. View the video and presentation.

Read more news and media mentions from the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies.

We have partnered with iMOVE Australia, Insurance Australia Group and Skedgo on a MaaS trial in Sydney with the aim to advance the understanding of the role that MaaS can play in both improving the travellers' experience of using multiple complementary transport services (in terms of cost, travel time, convenience, health benefits and perceived safety), and in contributing to improvements in broader community benefits (such as better air quality, reduced congestion and greenhouse gas emission savings) by providing a pertinent alternative to owning and using private vehicles.

Read more about our research on Mobility as a Service.

The synergies created by combining city logistics with urban public transport, referred to as co-modality, are potentially enormous. As planning, tracking and managing passengers and freight becomes more sophisticated and transparent, the opportunities to leverage environmental and efficiency benefits from a co-modal approach are increasingly apparent. The diversion of some freight to public transport can reduce the number of trucks and vans in circulation, cutting both congestion and emissions. Led by Professor Michael Bell and partnering with Transport for NSW and the iMOVE CRC, our project, Investigating the Feasibility of Adopting Co-Modality, aims to investigate the potential for (1) moving freight within urban areas using latent capacity in public transport without disrupting passenger services, and (2) using public transport stations to manage freight activities.

Webinar: Co-modality in city logistics problems
Facilitated by Professor Michael Bell and featuring Michael Stokoe, Associate Director, Freight and Servicing at Transport for NSW and Assistant Professor Ron van Duin from TU Delft in The Netherlands.
View the webinar Q&A (pdf, 200KB)

We have partnered with the Centre of Excellence in Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Development with the goal of developing a new framework for planning, design, financing, implementation and operation of BRT in different urban areas, giving clear guidelines to decision makers on when and how BRT projects can effectively enhance mobility and meet accessibility needs.

Implemented in Santiago, Chile, BRT is financed by the Volvo Research and Educational Foundations working as a consortium of five institutions:

  • Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • University of Pretoria
  • The University of Sydney
  • World Resources Institute Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

We have partnered with Travel Choice Simulation Laboratory (TRACSLab) to improve the capabilities of transport planning techniques by developing new methods to improve the realism of regional congestion modelling, and the mathematical representation of traveller decision-making, thereby permitting an improved long-term transport plan.

Visit the TRACSLab website for more information. 

We are working to deliver more accurate estimates of choice behaviour by reducing biases due to choice task complexity in surveys as well as design artefacts.

Extracting "true" preferences is challenging, not only due to possible hypothetical bias, but also due to increasingly complex choice tasks and the existence of design artefacts. This project will investigate the latter two in the context of marketing, transport, health and environmental economics and propose new methodologies to extract preferences that more closely reflect true behaviour in real markets.

We are working to find simpler and more accurate approaches to measuring the impacts of new cycling infrastructure, to be applied to a new bicycle path to be built by the City of Sydney. This will demonstrate the full transport, environmental, health, and economic impacts on the community.

Automated vehicles are predicted to be transformative, but their ultimate success and expected societal benefits will depend on drivers’ trust in them as well as how people choose to use and interact with them.

We are exploring three human-factor issues critical to the successful deployment of automated vehicles:

  • factors influencing driver choice of automated vehicle control
  • interactions between automated and manually controlled vehicles 
  • driver detection, recognition, and reaction to automated vehicle system failures. 

Insights from this research should prepare our society for more automated vehicles on roadways.

We are working to provide strategies to address key transport-related barriers in order to enable people living with disability to participate in the workforce.

A state-of-the-art planning and evaluation capability, encompassing demand forecasts, cost-benefit analysis and economic impact to assess the merits of major infrastructure such as roads, airports, public transport (heavy and light rail, and bus and ferry systems), as well as precinct investments such as new housing and industry and business stock.

Integrating attribute processing strategies and the conditioning of the marginal utility of attributes by risk attitude and perceptual conditioning to improve estimates of willingness-to-pay for specific attributes and also increased predictive power.

Improving practical behavioural models to predict responses to transport policies in order to assist in better decision-making; merging methods from stated choice surveys, experimental economics, and naturalistic driving simulators in order to better investigate travel choice behaviour in realistic environments.

Looking to nature for new solutions to supply chain design and management problems: through experiments on ants and slime moulds, this project will uncover the secrets of biological resilience, and use this insight to develop new algorithms for supply chain design and management.

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