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Public Transport

Public transport models estimate the:

  • number of trips that can be moved from one mode to another, for example travelling by car verses travelling by public transport
  • impact of the mode choice, for example if car travellers have been moved to public transport, then there will be some reduction in the road traffic, and there will be a corresponding increase in the public transport passengers.

Transport models have the transit (bus, rail and light rail) networks incorporated into them in order for the shift in modes to be determined. Modes that Transport Modelling has studied include bus, car, rail, light rail, walk and cycle.

Plot 4: Determining the best location for bus routes for the future Bringelly population.

Public Transport

Transport Modelling has worked with capital city strategic models including the Brisbane Strategic Travel Model multi-model version (BSTM_mm), the Canberra Strategic Model (CSTM), and the Sydney Strategic Travel Model (STM). These studies were concerned with examining the impacts of transport infrastructure changes (which results in mode-choice shifts). For example building a major road infrastructure can divert public transport trips to the auto mode, and vice versa, building a fast rail, or bus service, will reduce car trips.

In Australia all the major city strategic travel models have a mode choice built into them. Often smaller cities also require mode-choice modules but these can be less sophisticated. Transport Modelling has frequently built or enhanced models to include a mode-choice module.


Examples of public transport modelling include:

Modelling Transport Options for the South West of Sydney development (Bringelly) using the Sydney Strategic Model (STM)

The Bureau of Transport Statistics (formally TDC) is the custodian of the Sydney Strategic Model (STM). Transport Modelling has been privileged to have worked with the STM even prior to the Emme Modelling Panels being established.

This study was undertaken for another consultancy on behalf of the Bureau of Transport Statistics. Travel demand estimates for Bus, Rail, Light-Rail options were tested for the future land release in the South West of Sydney. The extended modelling was done by Transport Modelling. The study was completed in three stages: preliminary forecasts, comprehensive analyses, and sensitivity analyses on the preferred options.

Plot 3: Future rail options studied for Bringelly

Public Transport

Plot 5: Testing a bus express route.

Public Transport

Modelling the Bus Schemes with the Sydney Strategic Travel Model (STM) used in the Ministerial Review of Bus Services in NSW (Unsworth Review)

The Bureau of Transport Statistics (formally TDC) is the custodian of the Sydney Strategic Model (STM). Transport Modelling has been privileged to have worked with the STM even prior to the Emme Modelling Panels being established. For this widespread study the Sydney bus system was partitioned into Contract Regions (amalgamating private bus operations into larger areas). The aim of the modelling that Transport Modelling carried out was to enable a smooth transition to implementation stage by ensuring that:

  • The bus operators maintained the same bus km and bus hours after the introduction of the new Contract Regions.
  • The government achieved a better mode-split, and see more passenger kms and fewer transfers.

The STM was used to model approximate existing operator services and the proposed areas of operations. The modelling involved extracting data for each bus operator, and as the proposed areas changed, new statistics had to be regenerated.

For each region, many bus route/frequency policy options were trialled including:

  • Feeder express services to the rail
  • Servicing on parallel streets
  • Servicing the centres
  • Servicing the region including trunk routes
  • Commercial centre to commercial centre schemes
  • Herring bone (where buses feed the main bus line) and many other variations were tested

Potential Walk & Cycle Routes

When Paul’s colleague approached him with some assistance on determining the potential mode-shift to bicycle and walk modes for a certain part of Sydney, Paul considered the ‘short’ car trips for the different travel purposes.

These numbers were plotted and used as a starting point for the planning process.

Figure 1: All ten minute trips. This is good for determining potential walk, cycle or bus mode shift.

Public Transport

Implementing the Perth Mode-choice into the Brisbane Strategic Travel Model (BSTM)

When the BSTM modellers wanted to implement a mode-choice component into their model, they investigated the mode-choice models used in the other Australian cities. They determined that the one used in the Perth model was the most suitable to be used for the Brisbane model. Two of the consultancies who were invited to do the work, independently suggested that the modellers approach Transport Modelling. Transport Modelling implemented the Perth model in two stages

  • apply the scripts to undertake all the mode-choice calculations and
  • then analyse the data to be used for the mode-choice parameters.

The major challenge of this work revolved around the matrixes. When the Perth mode-choice modules and the BSTM macros were examined, it was immediately obvious that the existing BSTM matrixes were overwritten by the mode-choice calculations, and in the next loop strange results appeared. This issue was resolved by ensuring that the matrixes were not overwritten.

The Emme script and MS Excel workbook developed for this work are still used in running the BSTM to this day.

Modelling the Northern Busway, Brisbane using the BSTM

This was one of the first studies carried out using the multi-modal version of the Brisbane Strategic Travel Model (BSTM_mm). With the agreement of the BSTM_mm model developer, Paul modified the scripts to reflect the actual changes made to the public transport for this particular cluster of scenarios.

Mode-choice in the Parramatta (CiTran) Multi Modal Model

This model was used to determine the optimal split of car and public transport users into the Parramatta CBD.

Parramatta is the ‘second Sydney CBD’ in the Sydney metropolitan area. Transport Modelling built this model in conjunction with the Parramatta City Council. The Council owned the data and Transport Modelling owned the maths. Parramatta bought the Emme software license and Transport Modelling trained council staff to run this model in-house.

The model uses the incremental mode-choice outlined in Heinz Spiess' paper on Incremental Logit Demand Functions. The future auto demand was constrained by the available number of parking spaces in each of the zones. This model received good reviews by technical staff from the RMS.

Many in-house studies were undertaken using the model often assisted by Transport Modelling with the more technical aspects.

Mode-choice in the Petrie-Kippa-Ring multi-modal Model

Transport Modelling was approached by a major transport modelling organisation in Brisbane to develop a multi-model model to estimate the rail patronage of a potential new rail line: Petrie to Kippa-Ring (in the north of Brisbane). Transport Modelling developed a model for this corridor based on the incremental mode-choice outlined in Heinz Spiess' paper on Incremental Logit Demand Functions.

This model produced nearly identical results to those generated by another consultancy using a fully-fledged mode-choice model. These results gave great confidence to many people within the transport modelling area in Brisbane.

Mode-choice in the Wyong Traffic Models

The NSW government has very ambitious public transport targets, and therefore it is important for even small models, to include a mode-choice module, even if it is a primitive one.

For the Wyong traffic models that Transport Modelling has developed, a primitive mode-choice module has been implemented. This is based on three components:

  • a target that the user sets
  • a factor allocated to how close the trip origin is to the bus route and
  • another factor based on how close the destination is to the bus route. The mode shift is calculated from all three components.

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