Remode, reprice, reshape

My friends at GoGet, an Australian CarSharing company, released the report “Let’s Fix Congestion!”. While I am allergic to the congestion framing, since obviously cities should be designed around accessibility,  it is widely believed to be necessary to talk about congestion to get broader buy in from the media for any transport issue around here.

Remode Reprice Reshape
Remode Reprice Reshape

The strategy in the report is quite sound for a soundbyte:  Remode, reprice, reshape. Quoting from the report:


Remoding is a strategy that shifts more people out of the dominant mode, the private vehicle, into other modes such as public transport, active transport, and shared mobility. This latter area includes on-demand sharing, an approach that can offer compelling convenience and affordability for the transport consumer.


We need to address the economic and taxation policies that have preferenced the private car over other transport modes, and in turn generate congestion.

Currently the true cost of using a private vehicle is kept from the consumer’s view, whether it involves not accurately pricing parking or congestion’s effect on productivity.


Our cities have been designed around the private vehicle, preferencing space for cars over space for people.

We need to re-imagine our built environments and associated land use policies. Density is not a bad word if it is density done right. Density done right means an abundance of local shops and services which encourage abundant local living. Local living encourages local transport, often active, public and shared, and disincentivises the private vehicle, particularly when combined with smart parking policies.

This slogan is of course is adapted from the environmental movement’s Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, part of the Waste Hierarchy. [Replace and Recover and sometimes added to this list.]

But did you know Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal strategy was “Relief, Recovery, and Reform”? The Three Rs have a long history.

TransportLab Capability Statement

We at TransportLab consider ourselves capable people. Our capability statement shows some of what we have on offer. If you are interested in pursuing research, please contact us.

CAPABILITY STATEMENT Transport Engineering Research, Faculty of Engineering Overview The University of Sydney is regarded as a global leader in the area transport engineering research. We’re proudly ranked 1st in Australia and 5th globally for transportation science and technology by the 2019 Academic Ranking of World Universities by Subject. The strength of our research lies in its multidisciplinary approach; that is, the ability to scientifically tackle what are fundamentally socio-technical problems with a large and growing toolbox of methods and perspectives. Key areas of interest We cover a very wide range of activities related to research into transport engineering. Our key areas of interest are: - System impacts of autonomous vehicles The emergence of autonomous vehicles has wide- ranging impacts on the transport system. We’re looking at performance dependencies in the transport system as these technologies reach saturation. - Transport and land use interactions Transport and land use systems are connected through the concept of accessibility: transport networks provide access to activities. We use econometrics, spatial analytics, and complex systems approaches to study this connection. - Transport system performance measures Increasing availability of data and a refocusing on the customer have led to new approaches to transport system performance measurement. We leverage new data sources and econometric approaches to benchmark status quo performance and model interventions. - Traffic operations and control Traffic operations are essential for managing congestion and supporting economic productivity. Building on control theory, traffic flow theory and empirical approaches, we contribute to theoretical and practical traffic operations.
Capability Statement – Transport Engineering (page 1 of 2)
Our experts - Professor David Levinson: His research bridges transport engineering, economics, planning, and geography. He is a leading expert in the impacts of technology on society, network evolution, quantifying access to opportunities, and road pricing. - Dr Emily Moylan: Her research aims to understand the reliability and the variability of multimodal transport systems and measure their performance. Her skills exploit her expertise in big data analytics. - Dr Mohsen Ramezani: His research models traffic flow dynamics and traffic control strategies to achieve holistic traffic congestion management systems. He also studies emerging transport technologies such as autonomous vehicles and ride- hailing and taxi. How to be involved as a partner We invite government and business community to discuss challenges with us. For further information on consultancy services, research, or information on other opportunities, please contact: Prof David Levinson, Professor of Transport Engineering, School of Civil Engineering, Email: Holly Zhu, Business Development Manager, Commercial Development and Industry Partnership, the University of Sydney, Email:, Mobile: 0417 763 588.
Capability Statement – Transport Engineering (page 2 of 2)

Master of Transport

Our University of Sydney Master of Transport posters are now out. If you are interested, please email.

 Master of Transport Australia’s first interdisciplinary program in Transport  Offering students a unique and diverse learning experience, the Master of Transport degree bridges engineering, transport, and urban planning. The new program, the first such interdisciplinary offering in transport in Australia, and one of only a handful globally, encourages learning, innovation and application of emerging concepts in the areas of transport engineering, planning, policy, and management. As well as gaining a theoretical and policy-focused grounding on the workings of systems for all modes of transport and interactions with land use, students will also acquire the quantitative and qualitative skills needed to examine travel behaviour, forecast conditions and evaluate policies and plans. Students will learn to use software tools such as geographic information systems (GIS), transport and land use planning models, and traffic simulation software and will be able to ‘drive’ in a realistic virtual environment using the University’s 3D driving simulators. Career pathways The Master of Transport includes a practice-based capstone project, designed to further strategic and logical reasoning, deduction, and network and temporal data analysis skills. Graduates of transport engineering, planning and management courses are in high demand, both nationally and globally, and are employed in the emerging tech sector, private transport firms, consultancies, and at local, state or federal governments, developing and implementing transport policies. Why enrol in the Master of Transport? This professional degree is ideal for graduates wanting to pursue a career in the ever-growing global transport sector or professionals already in the field wanting to upskill. Co-presented by the Faculty of Engineering, the Institute of Transport and Logistic Studies (ITLS) at the Business School, and the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, it is designed to develop your critical understanding about the prevalence and identification of transport systems, core capabilities for analysing and designing such systems, the latest developments in mobility systems in the digital age, and proficiencies in broad interdisciplinary analysis. Further information and how to apply Applications are made via the University's online application portal. Please check admission requirements on the course website, as well as course duration and closing dates. We strongly encourage applicants to apply as early as possible, offers are made on a rolling basis and places are limited. Contact us Faculty of Engineering | Master of Transport E W T 1800 SYD UNI (1800 793 864) T +61 2 8627 1444    Our rankings Top 5 Ranked 5th globally for transportation science and technology by the 2019 Shanghai- based Academic Ranking of World Universities by Subject 1st for employability Our graduates are ranked 1st in Australia and 4th globally for employability by the 2020 QS Graduate Employability Rankings      CRICOS 00026A
Master of Transport poster

TransportLab at TRB 2020

Our TransportLab research group will be at the Transportation Research Board Conference in Washington, DC, in January. Our papers and sessions include:

01:30 PM-
05:30 PMMarriott Marquis, Independence Salon C (M4)
Wu, Hao, El-Geneidy, Ahmed, Stewart, Anson, Murphy, Brendan, Boisjoly, Genevieve, Niedzielski, Michał , Pereira, Rafael H.M., and Levinson, D. (2020) Access Across the Globe: Towards an International Comparison of Cumulative Opportunities International Cooperation Committee A0010
08:00 AM-
09:45 AMMarriott Marquis, Pentagon (M4)
David Levinson, University of Sydney, presiding
Public Transportation, Planning and Forecasting
Transport Accessibility Manual Working Group AP050
08:00 AM-
09:45 AM Convention Center, 147B
Lahoorpoor, Bahman and Levinson, D. (2020) Catchment if you can: The effect of station entrance and exit locations on accessibility. Journal of Transport Geography. 82, 102556 [doi] [full report] [free until 2019-12-25]
Event 1397

Designed to Attract: Transit Access and Inclusion AP045

08:00 AM-
09:45 AM Convention Center, Hall APoster-board Location Number: A106
Davis, Blake, Ji, Ang,  Liu, Bichen, and Levinson, D. (2020) Moving Array Traffic Probes.
Event 1408

Advances in Traffic Monitoring ABJ35

01:30 PM-
03:15 PM Convention Center, 146B
Cui, Mengying and Levinson, D. (2019) Primal and Dual AccessGeographical Analysis.  [doi] [code]
Event 1519

Transportation Accessibility Planning ADB50

06:00 PM-
07:30 PM Convention Center, Hall APoster-board Location Number: A111

Poster-board Location Number: A112


Poster-board Location Number: A113

Wu, Hao, Somwrita Sarkar, and Levinson, D. (2019) How Transit Scaling Shapes CitiesNature Sustainability doi:10.1038/s41893-019-0427-7 . [doi]

Cui, Mengying and Levinson, D. (2019) Measuring Full Cost Accessibility by AutoJournal of Transport and Land Use. 12(1) 649-672. [doi]

Rayaprolu, Hema and Levinson, D. (2020) What’s Access Worth? A Hedonic Pricing Approach to Valuing Cities.

Event 1653

Poster Session on Transportation and Land Development ADD30

06:00 PM-
07:30 PM Convention Center, Hall APoster-board Location Number: B344
Ji, Ang and Levinson, D. (2020) A Review of Game Theory Models of Lane Changing.
Event 1656

Traffic Flow Theory and Characteristics, Part 3 (Part 1, Session 1654; Part 2, Session 1655; Part 4, Session 1760; Part 5, Session 1761) AHB45

08:00 AM-
09:45 AM Convention Center, Hall APoster-board Location Number: A138
Cui, Mengying, and Levinson, D. (2020) Shortest paths, travel costs, and traffic.
Event 1688

Travel Behavior Mega Poster Session ADB10

08:00 AM-
09:45 AM Convention Center, Hall APoster-board Location Number: B390
Zhao, Xia, Cui, Mengying, and Levinson, D. (2020) Temporal Variations in Daily Activity Networks Using Smartcard Data
Event 1694

Public Transportation Demand: Explorations of Traveler Response and Traveler Characteristics AP025

Wednesday 10:15 AM- 12:00 PM
Convention Center, Hall A
Valentin Beauvoir, Emily Moylan (2020) Bike Share System Reliability: The Distribution of Delay Caused by Bike Unavailability 20-05298 Event 1736

Micromobility Poster Session: Planning, Policy, and User Behavior for Shared Bikes and Scooters

02:30 PM-
04:00 PM Convention Center, 150B
Lahoorpoor, Bahman and Levinson, D. (2020) Trains, trams, and terraces: population growth and network expansion in Sydney: 1861-1931.
Event 1740

Research in Urban Transportation History: From Sydney Trams to Los Angeles Ballot Box Planning to Canadian Street Cars ABG50

02:30 PM-
04:00 PM

Convention Center, Hall A

Poster-board Location Number: A114

Lahoorpoor, Bahman and Levinson, D.  (2020) The Transit Travel Time Machine: Comparing Three Different Tools for Travel Time Estimation.
Event 1740

Road Scholars: New Research in Travel Time, Speed, and Reliability Data

How climate change impacts infrastructure: experts explain

The University of Sydney released a news article: How climate change impacts infrastructure: experts explain

From fires in the Amazon and in Australia, to flash flooding in Europe, right across the globe we are witnessing the impact of climate change on the environment. But how does a changing climate affect key infrastructure? Engineering experts explain.

How does climate change affect transport infrastructure?

School of Civil Engineering academic, Professor David Levinson is a transport engineering expert who says transport infrastructure both contributes to climate change, but can also be affected by it.

“The issue goes two ways in transport. Typically, road and air transport are considered major contributors to climate change, making up 23 percent of CO2 emissions,” said Professor Levinson.

“But transport is also vulnerable, particularly due to so many facilities like roads and bus terminals being in flood zones, for instance New Jersey Transit lost $US120 million in damage to buses after Hurricane Sandy.

“Many transport facilities are also below grade, tunnels like those in the New York Subway were severely damaged from flooding during Sandy. Airports being at low elevations along the coast are at risk of sea-level rise. Extreme heat can cause road buckling, freeze-thaw cycles cause pavement cracking and potholes.

“Extreme weather increases the variability of weather, and roads designed for a particular climate range may fail more quickly. All of these add costs to design and retrofit, as well as decreasing reliability for users.”


A Review of Game Theory Models of Lane Changing

Recent working paper:

Driver lane-changing behaviours have a significant impact on the safety and the capacity of the vehicle-based traffic system, therefore, modeling lane-changing maneuvers has become an essential component of driving behaviour analysis. Among microscopic LC models, game theory based lane-changing models highlight the interaction or competition of drivers, which reveal a more realistic image of driving behaviours compared to other classic models. However, the potential of game theory to describe the human driver’s lane-changing strategies is currently under-estimated. This paper aims to review the recent development of game theoretic models that are classified according to their different methodologies and features. They are designed for both human-driven (User-optimal) and autonomous vehicles (User and system-optimal), and we hope they can find applications in future AV industries.


Trains, trams, and terraces: population growth and network expansion in Sydney: 1861-1931

Recent working paper:

This paper examines the changes that occurred in the tram and train networks and density of population in Sydney between the early 1860s and 1930s when both trains and trams were developing. A set of statistical analysis has been conducted using panel data representing 593 districts of Greater Sydney at suburb (neighborhood) level over each decade from 1861 to 1931. We find that trams and population density are positively associated in a positive feedback process, tram deployment leads population growth and population growth leads tram deployment, both satisfying a Granger causality test.


Commute Mode Share and Access to Jobs across US Metropolitan Areas

Recently published:

How much of the variation in transit mode share is attributable to accessibility is not well understood, despite its significant policy implications. It is hypothesized that better transit accessibility leads to higher transit mode share. This paper explains block-group level transit mode share using transit accessibility in a logistic model for 48 major US metropolitan areas. Transit accessibility alone explains much of the variation in transit mode share for all 48 regions despite their geographical differences (adjusted R2 0.61, potential accessibility); models for individual cities have stable and interpretable parameters for transit accessibility. The models better explain mode share in cities with higher person weighted transit accessibility and larger populations; an adjusted R2 of 0.76 is achieved for New York City with transit accessibility as the only explanatory variable. Additional automobile accessibility and income variables modestly improve model fit. Time-decay functions fitted to accessibility measures better explain mode choice than the isochrone accessibility, and suggest the catchment area affecting transit mode choice to be within 35 minutes. This work contributes to the understanding of transit mode share by solidifying its link with accessibility, which is determined by the structure of the transport network and land development.


Shortest paths, travel costs, and traffic

Recent working paper:

This study focuses on path flow for road network, as the sum of individual route choices from individual travelers, associated with specific path type for each cost fac- tor of auto travel that finds the optimal route with the minimum cumulative cost from the perspective of the corresponding cost analyst interest. The considered cost factors include time, safety, emission, and monetary costs, as well as their composite, internal and full cost of travel. We further explore the extent to which each cost factor explains the observed link traffic flows given an estimated home-to-work demand pattern. The results of the Minneapolis – St. Paul metropolitan area indicate that flows from multiple path types, associated with internal cost components, additionally to the factor of distance, provides the best fit.