The module is broken down into three overarching themes:
Introduction to Public Transport:
This section outlines the major roles that public transport plays within society today, the different governance structure surrounding the delivery of public transport, the different approaches taken to the delivery of bus and rail public transport services, and some of the practical outcomes of these approaches.
Issues in Public Transport
This section of the course develops some of the ideas outlined above further, to examine the different roles that public transport plays in supporting the local society and the wider economic community. Specific topics will include urban based public transport (what American’s call ‘public transit’), the role of public transport in the more general social inclusion debate, attitudes and behaviours towards public transport usage, issues surrounding the provision of public transport in rural areas, and finally long distance public transport, which also includes examination of high speed rail and domestic air services.
The Planning of Public Transport
The final section of the course considers topics associated with the planning and operation of public transport services. This will normally be examined under four specific areas which are public transport network design, the costing of public transport operations, including issues that need to be considered when bidding for a local authority contract, the use of intelligent transport systems (ITS) in the planning and management of public transport services and finally public transport information, and pricing, which includes real time information and smart ticketing.
Traffic Engineering Design
Traffic flow – traffic flow theory, data collection surveys, traffic analysis.
Road geometric design – design speed, horizontal alignment, vertical alignment, stopping sight distance and overtaking sight distance.
Isolated junction design and operational analysis – priority junctions, roundabouts and traffic signal control, soft.
Linked traffic signals – design and analysis.
Road safety - road collision prevention and reduction procedures, road safety audits.
Transport and Traffic Models
Introduction to transport planning and modelling; methods and types of data collection; network and zoning systems. Trip generation techniques; trip distribution modelling (growth factor and synthetic techniques); modal choice modelling. Route choice studies; traffic assignment models (including capacity restrained and stochastic methods); elastic demand methods; matrix estimation. Overview of currently used transport modelling software. Practical experience with software (generation, modal split and assignment).
Transport Demand Management
Development planning – development management, planning applications, Transport Assessment, Masterplanning.
Parking management and analysis.
Street layout and design.
Designing for walking, cycling and inclusive mobility.
Traffic emissions and environment.
Applications of Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).
Speed management and road user charging.
Transport Economics and Appraisal
In the “economic” part of the module, we introduce the crucial economic problem of scarcity, and its relevance to transport issues. We describe the characteristics of free and planned markets, and how these resolve the basic questions of what, how and for whom goods and services should be produced. We then examine the underlying economics of the market in terms of demand and supply. The economic costs of mobility and how these are accumulated are then examined, before we study the economists’ model of perfect competition and then, from this hypothetical “ideal”, we move to consider government intervention in the form of transport subsidies and regulation that are needed in reality to provide society with the level of accessibility it requires in a sustainable and equitable way.
The “appraisal” part explains the need for appraisal procedures in the private and public sectors. We examine the business cases required to take decisions on public transport investments in the UK. We present WebTAG, the UK public appraisal system used to generate the evidence required in the transport business cases. We analyse the content of transport studies produced according to WebTAG guidelines, with particular focus on calculation of benefits for transport users and social cost benefit analysis. Finally, we examine the potential wider impacts of transport investments on the economy, the environment and society, and discuss the necessary conditions to foster positive welfare impacts
The module starts by considering the process of policy making and who is responsible for transport policy e.g. supranational, central and local government structures and the role of the private sector. Problems and trends in transport demand and an introduction to policy perspectives; economic instruments in transport; taxes and subsidies, funding mechanisms, road pricing; direct regulation of street space); Land use planning and the management of transport demand; evolution of road and rail networks; rural transport policy; parking policy; town-friendly traffic planning; green commuter plans; “Smarter Choices” behavioural change measures, the mobility impaired in transport policy. Implementation and evaluation of transport policy. Case studies of transport policy and planning approaches in various International cities.