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The University of Sydney BUS BUZZ



Welcome to Issue 18 of Bus Buzz, the quarterly newsletter from the public transport team at the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS) in The University of Sydney Business School. We'd like to share with you the latest data and research on bus issues at ITLS and beyond. Please forward this newsletter to other people who may be interested.

Professor Corinne Mulley | Chair of Public Transport
Dr Geoffrey Clifton | Lecturer in Transport and Logistics Management
Dr Claudine Moutou | Lecturer in Transport and Logistics Executive Programs
Dr Liang Ma | Senior Research Analyst in Public Transport


ITLS Seminar Series

Professor Karen Lucas, Associate Professor of Transport Geography and Director of Research and Innovation at the Institute of Transport Studies, University of Leeds, presented on Nov 11th on the topic of the relationship between travel poverty and social disadvantage based on the UK context. At this presentation, she highlighted the future collaboration with Professor Corinne Mulley and Dr Liang Ma in studying the connections between activities, public transit supply and connectivity. (Image source: Karen Lucas)

Sally Stannard, former Executive Director for Transport and Infrastructure in TRANSlink, presented on Oct 28th on the topic of the importance of public transport frequency, based on the experience from South East Queensland (SEQ). This presentation reports some of the analysis of the high frequency routes in SEQ (the BUZ network) and describes some of the factors contributing to the results in SEQ as well as some lessons learned from this region.

Professor Abigail Bristow, Loughborough University, presented on Nov 25th on the topic of the cost of transportation noise. This presentation reports the first meta-analysis and the most extensive review of stated preference studies of transportation noise nuisance.

For further information about any of our past seminars in 2014, including the presentations, click here.

Papers on public transport published by ITLS staff

The following papers have been published since the last Bus Buzz. The papers published in Research in Transport Economics are open access until January 2015, click here.

  • Mulley C and Moutou CJ 2015 Forthcoming 'Not too late to learn from the Sydney Olympics experience: Opportunities offered by multimodality in current transport policy', Cities: The International Journal of Urban Policy and Planning
  • Mulley C and Reedy L 2015 Forthcoming 'Research into Policy: A case study of improving the research evidence base for transport policy makers in NSW', Case Studies on Transport Policy
  • Tsai C, Mulley C and Merkert R 2015 'Measuring the Cost Efficiency of Urban Rail Systems: An International Comparison Using DEA and Tobit Models', Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, vol.49:1, pp. 17-34
  • Clifton G, Mulley C and Hensher DA 2014 'Bus Rapid Transit versus Heavy Rail in suburban Sydney - Comparing successive iterations of a proposed heavy rail line project to the pre-existing BRT network', Research in Transportation Economics, vol 48 (December), pp126-141
  • Ho C and Mulley C 2014 'Metrobuses in Sydney: How high capacity and high frequency services are benefiting the Metropolitan fringe', Research in Transportation Economics, vol 48 (December), pp339-348
  • Mulley C and Walters J 2014 'Workshop 7: Innovative finance for innovative public transport', Research in Transportation Economics, vol 48 (December), pp389-392

For more information send an email to business.itlsinfo@sydney.edu.au

Walk 21 - International Conference on Walking and Liveable Communities, Sydney, 21 - 23 October 2014

Walk 21 is annual international conference and this year was held in Sydney in 21-13 October 2014. The conference aims to promote policies and initiatives that help to create environments where people choose to walk as an indicator of liveable community. Prof. Corinne Mulley gave a keynote at this conference. Prof. Corinne Mulley and Dr Chinh Ho presented on how much walking Sydneysiders do in their daily life, based on their recent findings from The Household Travel Survey and Dr Liang Ma presented on the role of walkability on public transport use using US evidence to show the importance of pedestrian friendly design around a bus/train station on public transport ridership.

The presentations can be found on the ITLS news and events page here.

Lifestyle Physical Activity and Sedentary Behaviour (LiPASeB) Symposium

Professor Corinne Mulley gave a talk to this new project node which is part of the Charles Perkins Centre at the University of Sydney. The Charles Perkins Centre aims to ease the burden of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease by translating the work of the University of Sydney into real-world solution, recognising the way in which obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are the leading causes of death, disability and reduced quality of life in Australia, and have become epidemics of global proportions.

Infrastructure 'Think tank' reports

Professor John Stanley, in conjunction with the Bus Industry Confederation, has published a number of policy papers. The Policy Thinkers Series 1 papers make the case for increasing the provision of public transport services in Australia's cities, both because of the benefits these deliver for service users but also, and perhaps more importantly, for the wider nationally significant economic, social and environmental benefits they deliver. The Policy Thinkers Series 2 looks at solutions around pricing with the papers highlighting the way in which a comprehensive user pays system could generate future revenue to fund infrastructure and pay for better public transport services.

For more information click here.

Soft factors that influence people's preferences for bus

Staff from ITLS and Transport for NSW organised the successful 10th International Conference on Transport Survey Methods, at Leura from 16 to 21 November. ITLS academics presented a range from research papers and posters about improving the collection and analysis of travel data. This included a poster presentation by Dr Geoffrey Clifton on the soft factors that influence people's preferences for bus transport. His poster presentation will be made available via the ITLS website here. (Image source: Freddy Alphabet)


Public Transport

The public transport unit of study for our postgraduate courses will be presented in Semester 1 in 2015 (starting in March) and includes 6 days of teaching and one day field trip. This course can be taken by external students. For further details please contact the Editors of Bus Buzz.

ITLS6104 Public Transport

The public transport unit of study for our Master course will be presented in Semester 1 in 2015 (starting in March) and includes 6 days of teaching and one day field trip. This course can be taken by external students. For further details please contact the Editors of Bus Buzz.

ITLS6106 Infrastructure Appraisal

In Semester 1 2015, ITLS is offering a new unit on infrastructure appraisal to the postgraduate program (starting in March). ITLS6106 will focus on the evaluation of large projects and is particularly relevant to the consideration of public transport investments as the unit will look at financial appraisal, cost benefit analysis as well as looking at concepts important in today's evaluation process such as the wider economy impacts and economic impact analysis. For further details please contact the Editors of Bus Buzz.

Graduate Programs in Transport Planning and Management

Students studying at The University of Sydney now have more opportunities to develop expertise in public transport and infrastructure planning. ITLS courses on public transport have traditionally been available only to students in the Master of Transport Management (MTM), Graduate Diploma and Graduate Certificate. From Semester 1 2015, units in public transport planning and management can now be included a specialisation in the 2 year Masters of Commerce program.

For more information about studying at ITLS click here. Applications to commence study in Semester 1, 2015 close 31 January 2015.


Physical health and environmental factors

Research being conducted jointly between ITLS, Public Health, and Exercise and Sport Science has begun collecting data using specially commissioned health sensors to looking at differences in mode - whether walking, public transport or car - on physical health measures. The data collecting work is expected to be finished by the middle of December. (Image source: Sydney University)


Professor Karen Lucas is working with Professor Mulley and Dr Ma on exploring the relationships between the built environment, travel poverty and social disadvantage at a local area located in the north west of England - Merseyside. The contribution of this study is to understand the social equity effects of policies.

Accessibility and public transport

Two research projects on accessibility and public transport are being conducted by a collaborative effort between ITLS and other Universities. The first project aims to evaluate the impact of bus rapid transit (BRT) on residential property values in Brisbane with Griffith University. A model has been developed and model results suggest price premium for accessing to the BRT. Further analysis will look at the spatial variations of the accessibility effects using Geographically Weighted Regression models. The second project is with the University of WA and aims to compare the different spatial regression modelling techniques that are currently used in studying accessibility effects of public transport. This study will use the data from both Sydney and Perth region.


Passenger Transport Act 2014

The Passenger Transport Bill passed through Parliament recently and this brings the Community Transport sector into the 'public transport' fold. When Regulations under this Act are created, Community Transport organisations will need to comply with the accreditation requirements currently observed by public transport operators.

To read the debate, click here.

Britain's first 'bio bus' is in service

A 40-seater "bio-bus" has gone into service and made its first journal from Bath to Bristol. This bus is fuelled by biomethane gas generated by the treatment of sewage and food waste at a processing plant. It is quieter and does not smell. The operator says that the passengers will not be able to tell the difference. For a short video about the initiative click here. (Image source: Wessex Water)

I met a stranger on the bus

Sydneysider Dee Davidian explores passenger thoughts on buses as social spaces and particularly the power of Christmas decorations in elevating the mood of bus passengers. The 5 minute radio documentary called "I Met A Stranger". It is available to listen to for free on the SoundCloud website here.


The March 2015 issue of Bus Buzz will include an update on research projects and the other activities of the public transport team.


Editors: Professor Corinne Mulley, Dr Geoffrey Clifton, Dr Claudine Moutou, Dr Liang Ma

Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies
The University of Sydney Business School
The University of Sydney NSW 2006
Web: sydney.edu.au/business/itls

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