Sustainable Transport Futures

Transitioning Australia's transport industry to a greener future
The Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies leads a team of experts to support the transition to green energy.

The new Neil Smith Chair of Sustainable Transport Futures, Professor John Rose is the latest addition to a team of ITLS researchers and educators who are generating knowledge that underpins a transition to a green future for Australia’s transport industry. Traditionally, Australia has lagged behind almost every other nation when it comes to reducing transport emissions and improving transport energy efficiency.

For years, even decades, other countries have provided incentives to promote sustainable transportation initiatives designed to reduce the massive footprint that transport related activities create. Many of the initiatives seek to promote individual households adopting more sustainable transport modes, including replacing more polluting vehicle technology for electric vehicles (EVs). 

Current research

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.

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.

Connections between mobility, wellbeing and social exclusion have interested transport planners and policy makers in recent decades. Our transport related social exclusion research examines how individuals may be prevented from travelling and accessing opportunities due to barriers other than choice.

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.

Our latest collaboration with Department of Transport and Main Roads and iMOVE Australia, "TRIPS: A Trip Rate Information Processing System", seeks to develop a centralised trip/parking generation database that can also facilitate the design, implementation and validation of Green Travel Plans (GPTs). Led by Professor Michael Bell and Dr Supun Perera, the outcomes of the project will assist planners and engineers to better understand the movement demands generated by various land uses under different contexts.

Read about TRIPS and keep track of the study’s milestones.

Papers and publications

  • Pellegrini, A., Borriello, A., Rose, J. (2023). Assessing the willingness of Australian households for adopting home charging stations for electric vehicles. Transportation Research Part C, 148, 104034. [More Information]
  • Tocock, M., Tinch, D., Hatton MacDonald, D., Rose, J. (2023). Managing the energy trilemma of reliability, affordability and renewables: Assessing consumer demands with discrete choice experiments. Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, 67(2), 155-175. [More Information]
  • Borriello, A., Massey, G., Rose, J. (2022). Extending the theory of planned behaviour to investigate the issue of microplastics in the marine environment. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 179, 113689. [More Information]
  • Borriello, A., Rose, J. (2022). The issue of microplastic in the oceans: Preferences and willingness to pay to tackle the issue in Australia. Marine Policy, 135, 104875. [More Information]
  • Stanley, J., Hensher, D., Wei, E., Liu, W. (2022). Major urban transport expenditure initiatives: Where are the returns likely to be strongest and how significant is social exclusion in making the case. Research in Transportation Business & Management, 43, 100731. [More Information]
  • Stanley, J., Hensher, D., Stanley, J. (2022). Place-based disadvantage, social exclusion and the value of mobility. Transportation Research Part A, 160, 101-113. [More Information]
  • Zhang, Q., Ma, S., Tian, J., Rose, J., Jia, N. (2022). Mode choice between autonomous vehicles and manually-driven vehicles: An experimental study of information and reward. Transportation Research Part A, 157, 24-39. [More Information]
  • Borriello, A., Burke, P., Rose, J. (2021). If one goes up, another must come down: A latent class hybrid choice modelling approach for understanding electricity mix preferences among renewables and non-renewables. Energy Policy, 159, 112611. [More Information]
  • Fettermann, D., Borriello, A., Pellegrini, A., Cavalcante, C., Rose, J., Burke, P. (2021). Getting smarter about household energy: the who and what of demand for smart meters. Building Research and Information, 49(1), 100-112. [More Information]
  • Stanley, J., Stanley, J. (2021). Public transport and social inclusion. In C. Mulley, J Nelson and S. Ison (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Public Transport, (pp. 367-380). Abingdon: Routledge. [More Information]