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

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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)

The physical absence of tertiary students has had a significantly large impact on public transport (as well as on local suppliers of student accommodation, and other support industries and services). With the easing of restrictions, many students are showing a keen interest in hybrid modes of teaching and learning.

TfNSW are interested in learning more about the emerging and intended commuting patterns of University staff and students post-pandemic and the implementation of return to campus plans of universities to further inform the development of their Travel Choices program.

This project will:

  • Conduct a rapid review of the staff and student travel plan literature
  • Conduct the review of selected return to campus plans and sustainable travel plans and existing TfNSW Travel Plan Toolkit materials
  • Hold surveys of staff and students travel behaviour in the light of modified study and work modes across selected University of Sydney campuses; and
  • Develop a University Travel Choices implementation plan for the University of Sydney campus(es).

This will enable the project team to provide robust recommendations for suggested initiatives to influence travel behaviours and demand in a university environment.

The full project background can be viewed on the iMOVE Australia website.

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.

The pace of electrification for public transit bus fleets is accelerating internationally. Clear targets have been established by transport policymakers to achieve a zero-emission bus target as early as 2030 in some jurisdictions. Two prominent choices are battery-driven electric buses and fuel-cell electric buses.

The key challenges include the choice amongst the set of green energy sources, who will bear the risks associated with the transition away from diesel and what will all of this mean for future procurement contracts between bus operators and government. We contribute to the debate on these matters.

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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