Through its research programme, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency invests in innovative and relevant research which plays a critical role in contributing to the government's goals for transport.

The results of Waka Kotahi research must be readily applicable to interventions that can be cost effectively applied in New Zealand in the short-to-medium term for longer-term impacts. This page lists all active Waka Kotahi research programme projects and is updated as research is completed.

For further information, you can either:

For information on any of these projects, please contact the research organisation directly or email research@nzta.govt.nz.

Key research areas

The projects listed below are currently active. They are arranged according to five outcomes in the sector’s outcome framework.

Overarching
Economic prosperity
Environmental sustainability
Healthy and safe people
Inclusive access
Resilience and security

Overarching

There are no active projects under this topic.

Economic prosperity

To support economic activity via local, regional and international connections with efficient movements of people and products.

  • Variability in transport investment costs and mitigations

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Variability in transport investment costs and mitigations

    Resolve Group

    November 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to examine the variability of capital and lifecycle costs across common transport investments, to identify (if possible) the factors that cause differences and to propose how to minimise or mitigate these factors during planning and investment phases.

    Stage 1.

    • Collect and clean cost data for common types of transport investment.
    • Quantify any observable patterns in differences in transport investment costs across common investment types.

    Stage 2. (Once suitable data is sourced from Stage 1).

    • Identify the factors behind the cost differences.
    • Propose mitigations for cost differences for planning and investment purposes.
    • Look at the relationship between capital and lifecycle investment costs.
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  • Re-coding of the National and Regional Land Transport Demand Models
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Re-coding of the National and Regional Land Transport Demand Models

    Principal Economics Ltd

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The RLTDM has been developed using MATLAB software package, which is very rarely used by practitioners. This has led the model to be unused. In this memo, we suggest recoding the model to provide it in a more useful programming language. Also, the available technical documentation does not provide enough details on the model and therefore we suggest providing a better documentation for the model. The output of this project will provide practitioners with the tool and guidelines required for using the RLTDM.

    Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency have developed an extensive land transport demand model, providing projections for 12 regions across New Zealand. The regional land transport demand model (RLTDM) can be used to conduct deterministic scenarios or to measure uncertainty associated with future transport demand given observable historical drivers of uncertainty in the economy and demographically. The model provides a useful assessment framework for practitioners to test a wide range of scenarios.

    The objective of this research project is to convert the current MATLAB codes to Stata, which will be more accessible and useful for future research projects.

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  • What is needed for an effective and efficient public light-EV charging network in New Zealand?

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    What is needed for an effective and efficient public light-EV charging network in New Zealand?

    Concept Consulting Group Ltd

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    To survey information availability and close information gaps relevant to government’s potential roles in light-EV charging infrastructure.

    Objectives are:

    1. Undertake an inventory of work with a New Zealand focus (government led, academic etc) that would aid in informing the approach to an efficient and effective publicly available New Zealand charging network.
    2. Identify and outline work, policies, analysis, data-policies, etc utilized in international contexts relevant to New Zealand which have aided in establishing EV charging networks – This should include qualitative and quantitative data and approaches suitable for use in multi-criteria analysis, cost-benefit analysis and lifecycle analysis, etc
    3. Identify how EV charging networks have been deployed overseas (in locations where insights for New Zealand can be suitably drawn) and give a detailed description of effective (or ineffective) policies, incentives, and factors which will be necessary for New Zealand.
    4. Provide a breakdown of what information or data is currently missing (or unutilized), which would be needed for robust assessment and rollout of EV charging network in New Zealand. Further, for evidence and data that is available, an indication of its accessibility and readiness. For data which may not be available or accessible, suggestions of suitable, available proxies would be helpful.
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Environmental sustainability

To transition to net zero carbon emissions and maintain or improve biodiversity, water quality and air quality.

  • What is the impact of the ride-hailing sector in NZ on transport related GHG emissions and how will this change over time?
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    What is the impact of the ride-hailing sector in NZ on transport related GHG emissions and how will this change over time?

    Arup New Zealand Ltd

    February 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The rapid emergence of ride-hailing represents a significant shift in travel behaviour. While we can learn from other cities around the world, these affects may be felt differently in different contexts – given altering forms, functions, and social and economic positioning of cities. The purpose of this research is to develop a richer understanding of the ride-hailing marketplace in New Zealand. The research will investigate the historic changes in ride-hailing over time, to what extent ride-hailing is replacing other modes and, subsequently, the scale to which greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are increasing or decreasing in this context as a result of these changes. Findings will inform the development of future transport scenarios in New Zealand. These will be built on alternate levels of market activity and emissions-reduction policy settings.

     

    The objectives of the research are to:

    1. Identify growth in the size of the New Zealand ride-hailing market over time focusing on the case study cities, measured in terms of total, service and passenger kilometres. Service (or operating) kilometers would include all travel associated with service provision (e.g. including travel to, from and between fares), while passenger kilometers would include only fare related kilometres.
    2. Estimate net greenhouse gas emissions associated with ride-hailing activities through estimating mode substitution and new travel effects, and applying ride-hailing fleet factors
    3. Project prospective ride-hailing travel and greenhouse gas emissions futures to inform potential policy responses.
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  • How effective are transport-related ecological interventions?
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    How effective are transport-related ecological interventions?

    Wildland Consultants Ltd

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to assess the following for roading projects in New Zealand:

    1. Whether significant ecological effects are being appropriately identified.
    2. Whether ecological management plans identify appropriate avoidance or mitigation actions
    3. Whether recommended avoidance or mitigation actions are successfully implemented
    4. Whether recommended avoidance or mitigation options are appropriately monitored.

    A Gap analysis will be undertaken that assesses the ‘state of play’ of roading ecological interventions. The Gap analysis will also identify the residual between what ecological interventions are achieving and what they are required to achieve to meet obligations under the Resource Management Act (1991) and the Wildlife Act (1953).

    This research will address the knowledge gap around the effectiveness of ecological interventions made by the transport sector when carrying out infrastructure projects and maintenance and operational activities. The magnitude and severity of an impact on ecological values depends not only on the nature of the roading or activity project but also on the effectiveness of the interventions implemented.

    The first objective of this research is to review what the known ecological effects of roading projects have been in New Zealand since (and including) the Northern Gateway project. This will include reviewing the nature, extent and success of ecological interventions undertaken to remedy, mitigate ecological effects. The review will consider:

    1. What components of the ecosystem were affected (e.g. terrestrial, marine freshwater, vegetation, fauna, specific taxonomic groups)?
    2. What ecological management was applied to minimise these effects?
    3. What evidence is there that ecological management minimised the ecological effects?
    4. How was this ecological management monitored?
    5. Was this monitoring sufficient to determine whether ecological management was successful?

    The second objective of this research is to use data from the review in a Gap analysis that will determine the actual performance of ecological interventions. This will be assessed against ecological criteria, and within the context of the Resource Management Act (1991).

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  • Community response to noise
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Community response to noise

    Tonkin + Taylor Ltd

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    To determine the community response to transport noise exposure in New Zealand by:

    • Defining and quantifying New Zealand community response to short-term increases in transport noise exposure from selected modes and define and quantify New Zealand community response to long-term transport noise exposure from selected modes.
    • Comparing the findings with other similar research and the findings of Waka Kotahi RR 656 (Research Report 656 Evidential basis for community response to land transport noise, June 2019.)

    The selected modes are road, rail, and aviation (airports). It has been agreed that ports will not be included in this research due to the smaller population sample size compared to the other modes.

    The outputs from our research will assist Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi), policy-makers and regulators in understanding the noise effects on communities affected by different transport modes.

    The objectives of this research are to:

    • define and quantify New Zealand community response to short-term increases in transport noise exposure from different modes, and
    • define and quantify New Zealand community response to long-term transport noise exposure from different modes
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  • Determining the carbon footprint of land transport infrastructure in New Zealand
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Determining the carbon footprint of land transport infrastructure in New Zealand

    Beca

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to determine a robust ‘foundational’ understanding of the whole of life (construction, maintenance, asset operation7 and deconstruction) footprint of New Zealand’s land transport infrastructure. In addition, this research aims to build on the current understanding of transport infrastructure emissions by identifying:

    • Significant sources of emissions (in activities or materials) with each lifecycle stage (i.e. Concrete in construction)
    • The relative distribution of emissions across the lifecycle.
    • The spatial footprint of land transport infrastructure, and
    • Identifying data deficiencies and areas for further investigation

     

    It is anticipated that this research could help infrastructure providers to understand current carbon profile of the infrastructure by region or type and support investment planning and decision making and potentially how current investment programmes shape their infrastructure emission profile. This will include information to support investment programmes for NLTP activities and CNGP material scope 3 emission targets for example.

     

    The objectives of this research are to:

    1. Analyse literature on methodology and approaches to large scale asset carbon quantification.
    2. Analyse literature on known information gaps (data and methodology) to support the GHG quantification.
    3. Identify and determine an appropriate asset data categorisation (based on data and information available to support carbon quantification).
    4. Confirm an appropriate methodology for quantification for determining the carbon footprint from New Zealand’s land transport infrastructure.
    5. Determine a baseline carbon footprint for land transport infrastructure in New Zealand
    6. Identify the greatest contributors to carbon emissions and inform decisions on where to target reductions.
    7. Provide a framework and data, including recommendations for addressing any data gaps, to help the sector develop tools that can assess the GHG emissions impacts of land transport investments.
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  • Noise disturbance from individual vehicles
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Noise disturbance from individual vehicles

    Altissimo Consulting Ltd

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Our research will deliver a better understanding of the significance of noise from individual vehicles compared to average levels from steady traffic, and how road layout features influence noise generation. We will establish a consistent framework for monitoring, assessing, and predicting individual vehicle noise and other nuisance noise. This framework will assist Waka Kotahi to assess projects and design elements on a consistent basis. This framework will also allow for the implementation of appropriate interventions to reduce effects.

    The result of this improved understanding and assessment framework will be to more effectively evaluate and design roading features, such that noise effects will be reduced. The reduced noise effects will result in improved amenity for residents near roads, and a reduced risk of health effects from road-traffic noise, particularly sleep disturbance.

    The end goal of our research is to provide Waka Kotahi and the wider community with better knowledge and tools resulting in is reduced harm and a better living environment for people adjacent the state highway network.

    The first objective of our research is to summarise known issues of noise from engine braking, and vehicles driving over bridge joints and Audio Tactile Profile (ATP) linemarking. This objective will yield an understanding of the prevalence and effect of these noise sources. This will largely be performed by a meta-analysis of existing NZ studies, and will be supplemented with the measurement results in this research project. The primary mechanisms resulting in these noise events are understood, but the evidence needs to be collated and formalized to inform decisions and policy.

    The second objective of our research is to address the lack of standardized approaches for predicting the level or impact of sounds from individual vehicles and sound arising from surface features. We understand that this research should address noise from vehicles traversing road design features such as:

    • roundabouts
    • corners
    • intersections (controlled and uncontrolled)
    • gradients
    • traffic calming devices

    and noise from road surface features such as:

    • bridge joints
    • surface joints
    • rumble strip (ATP linemarkings)
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  • The impacts of and the opportunity to provide holistic improvements to fish passage and natural watercourse drainage/crossing assets
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    The impacts of and the opportunity to provide holistic improvements to fish passage and natural watercourse drainage/crossing assets

    WSP New Zealand Ltd

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of the research is to provide a tool which leads to improved ecological outcomes where fish passage may be impeded by instream infrastructure around the roading network. The tool will support remediation investment prioritisation to improve fish passage enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem connectivity outcomes for catchments impacted by infrastructures on the transport network.

    To support understanding of how the objectives can be achieved through our proposed programme, we have expanded on the provided objectives:

    a.  Understand the spatial aspect and scale of fish passage requirements (both number of locations and remedial cost) as it relates to land transport (state highways, local roads, rail)

    • Collate existing datasets on instream infrastructure to provide, information on the number and type of structures and how they may be impacting fish populations, and present barriers to increasing cultural and ecological value.
    • Use the existing datasets to begin to qualitatively assess which catchments are the best candidates to invest in infrastructure remediation funding to achieve the greatest cultural and ecological benefits.
    • Use existing datasets to estimate cost for fish passage remediation (both capital and where available operational cost) for a suite of standardised interventions.

    b.  Develop a method and tool for the holistic prioritisation of remediation

    • Use proven methods and models for different risk management or prioritisation objectives to develop a tool for prioritisation of instream infrastructure remediation funding considering Te Mana o Te Wai.
    • Undertake field validity testing of the prioritisation tool.

    c.  Develop a toolbox of standardised interventions

    • Develop a menu of standard interventions to improve fish passage, with information related to their suitability for differing waterway environments, ecosystem objectives, price, whole-of-life and operational / maintenance requirements.
    • Integrate the process of choosing the intervention option(s) with the prioritisation tool.
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  • Assessing sustainability of urban form and transport relationship
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    Assessing sustainability of urban form and transport relationship

    Beca Ltd

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    We know that the integration of transport and land use planning is fundamental to create an urban form that achieves social, economic and environmental benefits.

    At its heart, such integration recognises that transport is about the access and movement of people. Yet without careful planning, it can create conflicts with the spaces where we live, work and play. It requires a shift away from thinking of transport just as corridors for the movement of vehicles, towards how we look at the interactions people want with each other and the natural and built environments in which they live.

    Integrated land use and transport planning is now also recognised as being a critically important part of reducing transport emissions. Its purpose is to shape better urban environments and accommodate the need for people and goods to interact, while minimising the requirements of transport systems. Integrated land use and transport planning provides an environment where people are enabled to change their transport behaviour.

    We understand that Waka Kotahi has identified a knowledge gap. While international studies, such as SUPER, demonstrate the benefits of good urban form, the pre-conditions are context specific to the community and existing environment.

    Therefore, there is a need to better understand the conditions for urban form and transport planning that impact emissions, and to quantify the costs and impacts of transport and land use decisions in the New Zealand urban context.

    There are four key research objectives:

    a. Document the evidence on the emissions impacts of different urban form typologies and transport in the face of New Zealand socio-economic and cultural preferences.
    b. Document the necessary pre-conditions that are required to reduce emissions through integrated planning of transport and urban form, and any conditions that may have adverse impacts to mitigate/address.
    c. Develop tools to estimate the emissions impacts of different urban form and transport modes/usage of items a. and b.
    d. Develop tools to help assess the transport emissions impacts of urban form identified in spatial plans, given the above.

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  • Determining the health risks and ecological impacts of particulate matter arising from vehicle brake and tyre wear and road surface dust – Stage 2 – Sensitivity Analysis and Source Apportionment Assessment
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Determining the health risks and ecological impacts of particulate matter arising from vehicle brake and tyre wear and road surface dust – Stage 2 – Sensitivity Analysis and Source Apportionment Assessment

    NIWA

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of our research is to continue the work begun in project TAR 19-17, updating what is currently known about non-exhaust particulate emissions (NEE) from vehicles in New Zealand.

    This work will complete the ‘Tranche 1’ recommendations as outlined in the previous report, namely to:

    • Undertake a sensitivity analysis of selected air models that use emission factors (EFs) to get an understanding of how the choice of emission factors affects model outputs
    • A re-analysis of existing air quality data held by GNS Science to apportion airborne PM from traffic to vehicles and to determine the needs for any further monitoring in Stage 4 of the research.
    • The outcome of the sensitivity analysis will be used to guide the decision on whether to continue with further stages of the research, while the interim estimates of PM10 and PM2.5 EFs could either confirm or replace existing EFs.Ultimately, the purpose is to determine whether current emission factors are adequate for the purposes they are used for, and if not, whether existing data can be used to generate improved emission factors.The objectives of this research are:
    • Determine the magnitude of the impact non-exhaust EFs have in air quality modelling, by undertaking a sensitivity analysis.#Survey existing source apportionment data to determine what detailed analysis is possible that will help to ground truth current non-exhaust EFs. The proposed analysis will become the work for Stage 3 of the research.
    • Determine the need for any further monitoring in Stage 4 of the research, assuming Stage 3 provides the anticipated results. If there is a need, to describe what kind of monitoring would need to be undertaken.
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  • Evidence review of road space re-allocation
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Evidence review of road space re-allocation

    ViaStrada Ltd

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Undertake a review of road space reallocation to identify factors for successful measured and sustained reductions in network VKT and develop best practice guidance for application in New Zealand.

    For this research, road space reallocation will be defined as permanent reallocation of existing road space from general traffic to active or public transport modes. The research will exclude dynamic lane allocation for capacity-only purposes, or reallocation for car-pooling/car sharing/higher-occupancy private vehicles.

    (This research will also exclude non-infrastructure measures for VKT reduction, such as road and parking pricing, travel behaviour change programmes, and workplace subsidy of sustainable transport options. These have been explored in detail in other pieces of research.)

    The objectives of the research are to:

    • Systematically review and conduct a meta-analysis of relevant national and international studies with measured impacts of permanent road space re-allocation and the measured level of network VKT reduction
    • Identify the factors required for successful and sustained implementation of network VKT reduction from permanent road space re-allocation
    • Assess the impact of permanent road space re-allocation on the five outcomes in the Transport Outcomes Framework
    • Recommend best practice that might be implemented in New Zealand to support permanent road space re-allocation for network VKT reduction.
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  • Evaluating different approaches to Low Emission Zones around the world

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Evaluating different approaches to Low Emission Zones around the world

    Beca

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    This research will provide directly transferable evidence to New Zealand, on how different cities around the world have implemented Low and Zero Emission Zones and the advantages or disadvantages of the different approaches.

    The 2016 study of Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand found that just over 80% of New Zealanders are exposed to poor quality air, with persisting higher rates for Pasifika New Zealanders. As New Zealand becomes increasingly urbanised more and more people are likely become exposed to poor air quality from vehicle emissions.

    Low emission zones have been an effective tool in improving air quality and people's health in a number of cities across the world, there are hundreds of examples across many countries in Europe and Asia that we can learn from to develop our understanding and craft appropriate legislation.

    To make the most out of this important research project, it is important to establish and agree clear objectives. We have grouped the knowledge gaps and study objectives described in the Consultancy Service Order into four areas: Health, Climate, Social and Design. Each with the objectives as set out below.

    Health: To understand the effectiveness of low emission zones as a tool to target better outcomes for peoples’ health.

    Climate: To understand the effectiveness of low emission zones as a tool to target environmental impacts.

    Social: To understand levels of public acceptability / social license to low emission zones as well as how equity aspects have been considered.

    Design: Distil the lessons learnt regarding development, design, implementation and monitoring of schemes, including advantages and disadvantages of charging emissions intensive vehicles from low emission zones versus prohibiting access.

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  • Integration of vehicle operating cost models with emissions models

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Integration of vehicle operating cost models with emissions models

    ARRB Group Ltd – National Transport Research Organisation

    June 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Research to understand how the separate models used in New Zealand for vehicle operating costs and emissions could be linked and/or integrated.

    Background

    The New Zealand Vehicle Operating Cost (NZVOC) model was first introduced as an input into transport cost benefit analysis in 1989. It uses manufacturers vehicle data on engine capacity and type as the fleet model to estimate vehicle running costs, fuel costs, vehicle depreciation, maintenance, and vehicle emissions. Its costs per kilometre are adjusted according to traffic and road conditions with speed change models. The trend over time is that published vehicle efficiency improvements reduce the contribution of NZVOC to the overall economic benefits. A major update in 2002 reduced the benefits by 25% and a re-run with new inputs in 2015 reduced the benefits by 12%. Analysis of the reduction from the 2008 update cannot be found.

    The Vehicle Emission Prediction Model (VEPM) was first released in 2008 and uses a comprehensive fleet model based on NZ fleet profile from Ministry of Transport’s Vehicle Fleet Emissions Model (VEFM) and vehicle emissions standards cross checked with actual emissions data and is updated more frequently (2011, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021).

    Knowledge gap

    Waka Kotahi NZTA identified that there appears to be opportunities to combine aspects/inputs/outputs of NZVOC and VEPM with a potential hybrid model building on the strength of each and address their current limitations.

    • VEPM has a better and more frequently updated fleet model than NZVOC but more aggregated in terms of vehicle types. Would a simplified vehicle fleet model suffice given actual on-road energy consumption and emissions?
    • VEPM has electric and hybrid coverage in its vehicle fleet model where NZVOC does not.
    • Fuel consumption from VEPM could be used to calculate vehicle operating costs.
    • Emissions estimates from VEPM could be used to better integrate emissions costs into the transport cost benefit analysis as VEPM is used for modelled emissions estimates in HAPiNZ.
    • NZVOC uses more detailed traffic and road condition and road geometry modelling than VEPM, which uses average speed with no accounting for geometry and ride quality and that loses details on these impacts.
    • VEPM needs improvement for vehicle/pavement interactions that create significant emissions in certain circumstances (from the recent research on lifecycle analysis of pavements). The effect of pavement surfaces is included in NZVOC.
    • There has been a longstanding requirement to better model road and driving conditions in VEPM (which NZVOC does in detail) as an average speed model has limitations at lower speeds in urban areas.

    Objectives

    1. Undertake a comprehensive review of the NZVOC model and VEPM, including supporting/explanatory documentation and recent relevant research1, to describe each models’ scope, data inputs and currency (ie how frequently the models and data have been updated) and their outputs to identify the common and unique elements. The review will provide the basis for recommending an integration scope by identifying which elements can be retained in their current form, which elements fill gaps in the other model, and which elements need to be amended to enable consistency.
    2. Engage with key stakeholders, ie model owners and users, to:
      • Understand the models’ current uses, the value derived and shortcomings (from a user perspective).
      • Understand possible or expected future goals and needs, eg accounting for a growing low and zero emission vehicle (LZEV) fleet, and other air pollutant emission in addition to greenhouse gases (GHGs), as well as desirable model capabilities, eg refined low-speed zone emissions modelling, breadth vs granularity.

    The NTRO will consult with Waka Kotahi to determine the relevant stakeholder contacts. Initial consultations with Waka Kotahi indicate that the Project Steering Group (whose membership has been confirmed) is likely to be a suitably comprehensive stakeholder group.

    The nature of engagement will be determined on the number of stakeholders to be consulted. For example:

      • online interviews for up to 3-4 stakeholders
      • online workshops for up to 15 stakeholders
      • an online survey for larger, more diverse groups.
    1. Evaluate NZ models against Australian and other international models/approaches, such as developments in HDM technology noting NZVOC is a significant adaptation of HDM-4 and other relevant sources, including international expert advice. NTRO will consult with the Project Steering Group and other international experts (see peer review candidates) to identify other relevant and leading practice models and approaches. The evaluation will consider, at a minimum, the Australian Transport Assessment and Planning (ATAP) vehicle operating cost models (latest published ATAP PV2 and the latest developments) emissions conversion factors, and environmental parameter values (ATAP PV5). This activity will help identify any additional gaps in the coverage and application of the models that can be incorporated into the integration scope.
    2. Identify and evaluate options. Possible integration options, include:
      • Retain and improve both models (ie not integrating but improving and harmonizing separate models).
      • Develop a hybrid model (ie integrating key aspects, but possibly losing some existing capability of the separate models).
      • Incorporate one model into the other (ie enhancing one model by incorporating aspects of the other model, eg updating NZVOC model data to be in line with more recent VEPM fleet data).
      • Retain both and determine post-analysis steps (ie devising a methodology to better use the outputs of one model to achieve the outcomes of the other model).
      • Do nothing (or do minimal changes, ie update input data and models, such as unit costs, or emissions conversion factors).

    Based on the model review, stakeholder engagement and evaluation of other similar models and approaches, the NTRO will identify at least 3 integration options and evaluate their respective pros and cons, including:

      • ability to meet current and future needs
      • practicality and feasibility
      • rigour and certainty.

    The evaluation will produce an initial recommendation for consultation.

    1. Prepare a draft findings report with an initial recommendation on the preferred integration option.
    2. Present findings and initial recommendation to the project steering group and other relevant stakeholders via an online meeting/workshop. A preferred or recommended approach will be sought through the engagement process. If consensus is not achieved, NTRO will consult with the Waka Kotahi Steering Group who will be responsible for selecting a single preferred option for detailed scoping.
    3. Upon agreement on the preferred integration option, a detailed integration scope will be prepared as the basis for a contract specification for the technical development of an integrated economic and emissions model for road transport.
    4. Prepare a comprehensive research report based on the draft findings report, project steering group consultation outcomes and the integration scope specification.
    5. Communicate research approach, findings and outcomes via an online recorded presentation. NTRO will prepare presentation slides for review by the Project Steering Group and deliver the presentation – which questions and answer sessions – in line with Waka Kotahi presentation guidelines, or regular NTRO presentation practice.
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  • Battery electric bus whole of life study

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Battery electric bus whole of life study

    WSP New Zealand Ltd

    June 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to:

    • assist the PT sector to make informed investment decisions in relation to zero emission buses and,
    • to better understand the effects of current procurement decisions to invest in BEBs, with consideration to future operation and maintenance overheads.

    The objectives of this research are to identify:

    • the sustainability effects of automotive battery manufacture, in particular the environmental impacts and labour force conditions (including consideration to modern slavery in manufacture/assembly) of raw materials sourcing, such as lithium, cobalt and other minerals
    • charging and charging technologies, including induction and the timeline and benefits as they are commercialised
    • the future supply chain security of raw materials for automotive batteries
    • the contributing effects to battery degradation and how operators of BEBs can maximise battery life, including best practice guidance on battery monitoring and predictive maintenance
    • the end of life options and impacts for batteries in New Zealand, such as the true potential for second life in stationary applications and the potential for recycling end of life batteries
    • the factors that contribute to risk of fire (including how to manage EV fires) and other safety hazards in batteries
    • the emerging trends in EV insurance both internationally and within a New Zealand context
    • the potential investment that will be required to replace batteries at around a bus’s mid-life, including considerations of obsolescence risk as a result of future incompatibility of current BEB systems with future battery technology
    • considerations required for different business models that can provide alternative procurement, running costs, and risk allocation approaches
    • the effect that BEBs are having on road wear compared with diesel buses due to the generally heavier weight of BEBs and the value of trading-off road damage repair/mitigation vs battery weight mitigation, such as reduced range, use of opportunity charging or alternative zero emission technologies
    • the future direction of BEB technology and the potential impacts that future technology may have on the current BEB trade-offs, including the potential for ongoing reductions in the weight of batteries.
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  • Direct mortality from roads on native birds: species and sites
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    Direct mortality from roads on native birds: species and sites

    Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research)

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research topic is to identify native bird species and road sites in New Zealand that exemplify possibly significant mortality by vehicle strike and to develop and test a method to assess rates of road kill. This shall provide the crucial first step in addressing the knowledge gap regarding impacts of direct mortality from roads on native bird populations.

     

    The objectives of this research are:

    1. Undertake a literature review to:
      1. detail overseas methods and best practice regarding survey design and methodology
      2. provide an overview of current best practice roadkill mitigation techniques from New Zealand and overseas.
    2. Undertake desktop investigation to ascertain what bird species and road sites in New Zealand exemplify possibly significant mortality by vehicle strike and what species traits and site attributes characterise the above examples.
    3. Develop a method to ascertain rates of roadkill that can be applied in New Zealand.
    4. Test the method in the field forming case studies and selecting species and sites from the literature review.
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  • Environmental and accessibility transport appraisal methodology – an alternative transport appraisal methodology
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2023/24 Environmental and accessibility transport appraisal methodology – an alternative transport appraisal methodology Principal Economics Limited August 2024
    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this proposed research is to investigate, develop, and test an alternative transport appraisal methodology within an accessibility framework. The study aims to address the reduction of vehicle kilometres travelled, greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitating mode shift, in alignment with the requirements of the New Zealand Emission Reduction Plan (ERP). By exploring alternative methodologies and conducting case studies, the research seeks to provide a comprehensive understanding and actionable insights for the development of a new approach to transport appraisal that prioritises government policies, as expressed in the ERP.

    The objectives of the research are:

    • To investigate and develop a transport appraisal methodology that prioritises the reduction of vehicle kilometres travelled, and greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitates mode shift within an accessibility framework.
    • To identify and outline the key elements of environmental and accessibility transport methodologies, including the economic, transport and other concepts, principles, and data required for the appraisal methodology.
    • To specify and describe the data collection methods necessary for implementing the alternative transport appraisal methodology, incorporating surveys, economic analysis, econometric modelling, mathematical principles, and other relevant approaches.
    • Demonstrate the practical application of the developed transport appraisal methodology using case studies, to illustrate its effectiveness and potential impact.
    This project requires a comprehensive literature review to assess existing approaches and methodologies adopted in other jurisdictions, considering both published and grey literature, and synthesising current research and practitioner perspectives.
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  • Planning and policy settings for developers to integrate housing development with transport

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Planning and policy settings for developers to integrate housing development with transport

    Arup New Zealand

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The focus of this research will be on assessing current considerations for housing developers and how these could be improved for:

    • Aligning public policy transport objectives with commercial considerations when making development decisions and the transport implications of these decisions.
    • What transport costs of housing development are considered by developers, and how might the whole of life transport private, public and social costs be better appropriately considered and apportioned between developers, public and private parties.
    • What are the policy and planning settings that incentivise housing developers to:
      • Increase medium density development.
      • Increase mixed use.
      • Build at higher density.
      • Build in more public transport accessible locations.
      • Increases the synergistic combination of the above.
      • Deliver the above at scale.
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Healthy and safe people

To protect people from transport-related injuries and harmful pollution and make physically active travel an attractive option.

  • The road safety and multi-modal impacts of on-street parking
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    The road safety and multi-modal impacts of on-street parking

    Abley Limited

    February 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    To identify the current road safety and other impacts of on-street parking and a suite of changes to parking arrangements that would lead to improved safety outcomes.

    The objectives of the research are to:

    1. review the local and international literature and experience of the road safety and associated impacts (positive and negative) of on-street parking, and compile an evidence base
    2. interrogate the Crash Analysis System (CAS) and other identified information sources (eg, hospital admissions data, ACC claims etc.) to identify key statistics related to parking and road safety related crashes and injury
    3. identify unique features of and rationales for decisions about on-street parking in New Zealand, eg, a preference for reverse angle or nose-in angle parks rather than tail-in as in other jurisdictions, vehicle size considerations, pros and cons of different layouts
    4. identify some specific parking safety mitigation strategies for different road contexts in New Zealand, notably linking in with One Network Framework classifications
    5. test proposed strategies (eg, via modelling) on selected NZ case studies within different contexts, notably with a range of multi-modal infrastructure and Levels of Service for different modes
    6. synthesise the research findings and make recommendations for policies and management of parking to enhance safety for all transport modes, while also supporting parking’s core functions.
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  • Potential for Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) to assist with Road to Zero objectives
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2021/22 Potential for Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) to assist with Road to Zero objectives WSP New Zealand Ltd February 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to establish the potential contribution that a range of ISA systems may make with respect to the Road to Zero road safety objectives.

    The following research objectives will guide the project: #To determine the likely effectiveness and efficacy of different types of ISA to assist with and encourage safe driving behaviour:

    1. To determine the likely effectiveness and efficacy of different types of ISA to assist with and encourage safe driving behaviour.
    2. To discuss the wider Costs and safety Benefits of ISA based on existing data sources.
    3. Establish the uptake of ISA and associated barriers in other jurisdictions, including examples where speed control has been implemented with respect to benefits and disbenefits.
    4. Understand the current take-up of ISA, barriers and motivations in New Zealand.
    5. To understand the current usage and performance of ISA in New Zealand.
    6. Understand the impact of ISA on key driving behaviours.
    7. Understand the level of market penetration to realise the safety benefits of ISA.
    8. Understand the in-service maintenance requirements of ISA.
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  • Differences in drivers accessing and progressing through the Graduated Driver Licensing System (GDLS)
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Differences in drivers accessing and progressing through the Graduated Driver Licensing System (GDLS)

    WSP New Zealand Ltd

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Waka Kotahi is seeking to understand why there are differences in access, progress and odds of a crash for different groups moving through the Graduated Drivers Licencing System (GDLS), how to get more people, especially those currently excluded, into the GDLS, and keep them moving through it to ultimately gain their full licence and be safer drivers.

    The objectives of the research are to:

    • provide a summary of international and New Zealand research on access and rates of progression through Graduated Licensing Systems (GDLS).
    • gather and understand data on access and rates of progression through GDLSs to understand barriers and enablers to access and progress through the GDSL.
    • recommend measures that might be employed in Aotearoa New Zealand to get more people, especially those currently excluded, into the GDLS, and keep them moving through it to ultimately gain their full licence and be safer drivers.
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  • Modelling mode shift impacts on safety

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Modelling mode shift impacts on safety

    ViaStrada Ltd

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to discover what the actual and potential safety impacts of mode shift from private motorised vehicles to PT, active modes and micro-mobility are.
    The objectives of this research are to:

    • Identify and examine New Zealand and relevant international literature, especially in relation to countries whose transport systems are comparable to New Zealand’s, to summarise what is known about the overall safety impacts of mode shift away from private, motorised vehicles to whole journeys involving Public Transport, active travel or micro-mobility;
    • Determine the personal and collective safety impacts of different non-private vehicle travel modes across whole journeys and for different demographic groups in New Zealand; and
    • Develop a model that will enable mode shift ‘scenario testing’ to calculate the potential road safety outcomes of different levels and configurations of mode shift in New Zealand:
    • At a national level; and
    • For a diverse sample of urban areas.
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  • Social cost (health) of land transport noise exposure
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2020/21 Social cost (health) of land transport noise exposure AECOM March 2024
    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research paper is to define the health costs of transport noise exposure across New Zealand.

    The objectives of the research are to:

    • Undertake a detailed literature review which identifies existing research in each key field, the applicability to New Zealand, and gaps in current understanding. This review would identify further work required in each of the items listed below
    • Develop a New Zealand transport noise exposure noise model which would include the existing road noise model, a new rail noise model, available aircraft noise maps and port noise maps where already available.
    • Determine appropriate dose-response relationships for health, productivity and cognitive impacts of transport noise. This work would build on the recent road transport dose-response study undertaken by AECOM.
    • Develop a cost model to evaluate the impacts of transport noise exposure
    • Develop an integrated noise exposure and cost tool, combing the outcomes of all the above work into a GIS tool.
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  • Community exposure to unsealed road-dust emissions
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2019/20

    Community exposure to unsealed road-dust emissions

    Tonkin + Taylor

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Our research will build on existing data to deliver a better understanding of the health and social impacts of community exposure to dust from unsealed roads in New Zealand.

    Our research will aim to:

    • Collect field data to enable the development of dust emission factors specific to New
    • Zealand road surface materials
    • Develop methods for:
      • estimating unsealed road dust emissions
      • determining community exposure to dust
      • assigning relative dust risk categories to road segments (building on existing tools)
    • Develop specific dose-response relationships and economic models to quantify the health and non-health costs of exposure to dust from unsealed roads
    • Deliver a practical and readily updatable tool that integrates all of these elements and allows the spatially resolved model outputs to be presented as both maps and data tables.

    The outputs from our research will assist Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (Waka Kotahi), policy-makers and regulators in understanding and contextualising the impacts of dust from unsealed roads and provide a practical tool for road controlling authorities and other stakeholders to evaluate priorities and quantify the benefits of road sealing.

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  • The economic, social and environmental impacts of safe and appropriate speed limits
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2023/24 The economic, social and environmental impacts of safe and appropriate speed limits Ernst & Young September 2024
    Purpose and objectives:

    The aim of this research is to provide view of further trade-offs, in both benefits and costs, associated with a change in speed limit, for both single corridors and the entire roading network. Negative and positive impacts will be compared using monetised and non-monetised assessment frameworks, using tools such as Cost-Benefit Analysis and Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) where appropriate.

    The research aims to answer four key questions:

    1. What are the effects of implementing safe and appropriate speed limits on Death and Serious Injuries (DSI’s) and travel time across New Zealand?
      1. Prior to the assessment of wider impacts and relationships, what high-level conclusions can be drawn about impact of safe and appropriate speed limits?
      2. What is the effect size of these speed limits in kmph?
      3. How do results differ across time, geographies, route characteristics, and the distribution of driver behaviours?
    2. What are the effects of a safe and appropriate speed limit beyond safety outcomes and travel time?
      1. What spatial data is available to track economic, social, and environmental outcomes, such that the influence of local speed limits can be assessed?
      2. What is the strength and statistical significance of these relationships under alternative assumptions?
      3. How can different effects be valued and compared? Eg, what is the result of monetisation, via CBA, compared to approaches such as MCA?
    3. What idiosyncratic characteristics of the land transport network, across New Zealand, affect the magnitude of impacts?
      1. How do results differ across geographic, economic, road design, and socio-spatial characteristics?
      2. Does statistical analysis identify distinct profiles or groupings with distinct results?
      3. What conclusions can be reached, in terms of generalised or profile-specific findings, that elucidate the wider implications of safe and effective speed limits in New Zealand?
    4. What the implications of assessment results for safe and effective speed limit policy across New Zealand?
      1. What are the key trade-offs that should be considered?
      2. Does the optimal approach differ across the network, vs. individual corridors?
      3. To what extent do results address ‘commonly raised concerns’ received by Waka Kotahi?
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  • Suicide prevention interventions on the transport network
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery
    2023/24 Suicide prevention interventions on the transport network Boutique Insights Ltd December 2024
    Purpose and objectives:

    The primary purpose of this research is to identify, from national and international literature, infrastructure-based suicide prevention interventions pertaining to ‘fall from heights’ suicides on transportation networks and the evidence for their effectiveness, including the identification of any displacement behaviour.

    The secondary purpose of this research is to identify from national and international sources, patterns of observable potentially suicidal behaviour that could be used by network operators observing CCTV footage (especially from Auckland locations) to identify people at risk of suicide on motorway bridges and to determine whether this type of training has been used effectively elsewhere to prevent suicide attempts. These findings will feed into the design of network operator training.

    The objectives of the research are:

    1. To investigate both national and international literature/evidence to identify and understand the effectiveness of infrastructure interventions that can be implemented to prevent suicides (ie fall from heights, unauthorised accessing) on the road network, with a specific focus on Auckland’s road network and motorway bridges.
    2. To identify whether there are patterns of behaviour that could be detected by those monitoring the transport network that indicate if a person on the network is an increased suicide risk and whether this strategy of pre-emptive identification is used by other jurisdictions internationally.
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Inclusive access

To enable all people to participate in society through access to social and economic opportunities such as work, education and healthcare.

  • Establishing the household costs of essential transport
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Establishing the household costs of essential transport

    Ipsos

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    BACKGROUND

    • The Transport Outcomes Framework has inclusive access as one of the five outcomes of delivering a transport system that improves wellbeing and liveability
    • Inclusive access “enables all people to participate in society through access to social and economic opportunities such as work, education and healthcare.”
    • To be inclusive, the transport system must be accessible to all people in New Zealand, including those with disabilities, low-income earners, and people of different ages, genders and ethnicities
    • One aspect of inclusivity is transport affordability, which can be considered as a barrier for some New Zealanders to participating in society

     

    Our approach to this research will allow us to:

    • Define essential travel and what components of household travel are considered essential to New Zealanders (both through literature and the qualitative stages)
    • Explore and understand the different aspects of essential household travel and the impact cost of travel is having on lives through both the qualitative stages
    • Quantify the size of the problem (incidence of people who are affected by the cost of essential travel) through a large nationally representative survey using new definitions and question lines
    • Profile those who are affected and understand what they are missing out on when they can’t take essential trips as a result of cost
    • With a caveat on sample size, we will also quantitively explore for those who are affected:
      • How often they are affected
      • The amount of impact on their lives
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  • Māori experiences and expectations of the transport system in Aotearoa New Zealand
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Māori experiences and expectations of the transport system in Aotearoa New Zealand

    WSP New Zealand

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Hāpaitia te ara tika pūmau ai te rangatiratanga mō ngā uri whakatupu - WSP Māori Services Rautaki Māori foster mana-enhancing partnerships by collaborating with Iwi and Mana Whenua to support Māori environmental, economic and cultural wellbeing. This research seeks to give expression to Waka Kotahi treaty partnership with Māori by identifying Māori experiences, expectations and priorities for transport from a Kaupapa Māori Theory framework so to inform the development of key agency responses and help build capability within agencies for appropriate outcomes for Māori.

    The objectives of this research are to understand:

    1. How Māori perceive the transport system in Aotearoa (e.g., as a whole system, a set of infrastructure, a way to get from A to B or something that provides access to opportunity, etc) and why have these perceptions come about?
    2. How are Māori impacted by the transport system day by day (as Māori, distinct from other factors, positively and negatively and how are these impacts changing over time?
    3. How are Māori responding to government priorities for transport, such as the road to zero strategy and mode shift?
    4. What are Māori expectations and priorities for transport, now and in the short, medium, and long-term future?
    5. What are the gaps between Māori expectations and priorities for transport and their current experiences?
    6. What are the gaps in data and other evidence that can be used to characterise Māori experiences and impacts on them of the transport system?
    7. What responses are required to close data and evidence gaps, and how would these responses be prioritised by Māori?
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  • Teleworking/working from home impacts on travel and land use – pre and post Covid-19
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Teleworking/working from home impacts on travel and land use – pre and post Covid-19

    WSP New Zealand Ltd

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of the research is to ascertain the feasibility of modelling ‘work from home’ (WFH) or teleworking, as an alternative mode choice within existing transport models. This will enable the assessment of WFH relative to the four other modes (walk, cycle, public transport and vehicles), the associated travel implications and to assess land use patterns.

    This exploratory research aims to determine whether it is possible to arrive at utility functions that can be incorporated into transport models.

    The objectives of the research are to:

    • Improve our understanding of the impacts of Information Communication Technology (ICT) advancements on transport and the built environment pre and post Covid-19 including;
      • A systemic, targeted literature review of international and New Zealand research
      • Gather and analyse data: identify more significant and measurable variables from literature, including from specific studies
      • Frame within a ‘bigger picture’: the four possible futures (Lyons, MoT, 2014, defined below in 2c).
    • Identify the characteristics of different modelling frameworks that can assess the impacts of working from home (WFH) on traffic/travel patterns and land use including;
      • Identify model purposes and required outputs
      • Review suitability of different methods and discreet choice model specifications
      • Consider application within “classic” and “emerging” modelling frameworks
    • Assess the possibility of using utility values (derived from Contingent Valuation ‘CV’ methods) in transport modelling including;
      • Setting criteria for assessing CV methods
      • Assessing CV methods against criteria.
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  • Establishing a transport outcomes intervention catalogue
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Establishing a transport outcomes intervention catalogue

    WSP New Zealand Ltd

    April 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Waka Kotahi have identified the need to have a structured way of collating and cataloguing evidence about transport interventions. A well-designed interventions catalogue will increase the capacity to efficiently assess and compare, and ultimately select appropriate interventions.

    As part of designing a prototype interventions catalogue, Waka Kotahi have identified the need for a framework and a way of structuring the evidence in the catalogue so we can examine interventions by their:

    • Applicability
    • Costs (operational/whole of life)
    • And responsiveness to differing local needs

    Our goal is to deliver the design of an interventions catalogue that has structured and searchable information about interventions and their impacts. To be able to meaningfully compare interventions in the catalogue, we will develop the metadata and evidence standards about the information to be included.

    Our objectives are to develop the design for a structured, searchable catalogue of evaluated interventions through:

    • A structured framework for cataloguing evidence on the effectiveness, transferability and costs of transport interventions.
    • A transport intervention metadata standard so evidence can be machine searchable.
    • An evidence standard for what gets included.
    • Methods to harmonise results so inferences can be made about significant contextual factors.
    • A user-friendly prototype of the catalogue tested with case studies and example literature reviews.
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  • E-bikes transport equity research
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    E-bikes transport equity research

    University of Otago

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to inform future policy and programmes around ebike uptake in communities in NZ who experience transport exclusion, have low levels of cycling and minimal access to ebikes.

    This research will achieve this purpose by reviewing literature of similar projects, evaluating a local project and providing information on how to determine other communities that might be suitable for similar initiatives and potential measures of success of those projects.

    Objectives:

    1. Review national and international literature and experience on the introduction of e bikes to people and communities who are excluded from the transport system.
    2. Identify potential measures of the effectiveness of e bike programmes to people and communities who are excluded from the transport system.
    3. Assess the feasibility and acceptability of the Wainuiomata pilot e bike programme; (feasibility and acceptability reflect that it is a qualitative evaluation rather than quantitative).
    4. Describe the suitability of a range of other locations in New Zealand for the introduction of similar or suitably amended e bike programmes.
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  • An enhanced, nationally consistent, travel mode choice model

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    An enhanced, nationally consistent, travel mode choice model

    Data Analysis Australia Pty Ltd

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Public Transport (PT) and active travel modes among network users are considered the most sustainable and low carbon form of ways to travel among locations. However, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency identified that the current national transport model does not forecast PT and walking and cycling uptake during investment planning phases—with consequent uncertainty as to the outcomes of these metrics. Behavioural variables, such as attitude, improved the predictive validity of disaggregate choice models (Ben-Akiva et al., 1999). Many latest studies have found that attitudes are strong predictors of the chosen travel mode, even stronger than, for instance, the built environment and residential location (De Vos et al., 2016; Hess et al., 2018; Ton et al., 2020). However, limited transport models have included such behavioural variables, and if included in current modelling, tend to rely on fuzzy estimations only, thereby impairing their predictive power. Moreover, current evidence suggests that contemporary modelling tends to be precise but not necessarily accurate when it comes to predicting travel mode choices in the future. Emerging science and transport psychology offer the prospect of substantively improving modelling and forecasting, providing more informed investment planning and decision-making. The knowledge gaps of current transport models recognised by the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency as follows:

    1. Current regional-level models have limited mode share capability and there is no evident standardised approach for modelling, data collection, or accuracy requirements, either in Aotearoa/New Zealand or internationally.

    2. The vast majority of mode choice modelling focuses only on:

    i. single-trip

    ii. single-mode

    iii. single-trip-purpose, and

    iv. single-person-type

    3. Therefore, often omitting multi-leg, multi-purpose journeys and a broad spectrum of users.

    4. Interviews with practitioners and analysis of existing models revealed that behavioural variables are often only fuzzy estimations due to a historic dearth of behavioural data.

    5. Finally, a reliance on generalised costs elements of time, distance, and financial cost with elements such as transfer penalties provide only coarse calibration—while simultaneously omitting substantive user-related variables that verifiably have an influence on travel mode choice.

    Our team brings together experts on transport, psychology of decision-making, discrete choice modelling, and data analysis, and covers scales from individual people to systems. Our goal is to use this expertise to build a “joined together” hybrid model that uses robust objective and psychological variables to predict journey choice. A key consideration is how people make choices involving multi-mode journey options, where there is the potential for complex interactions or trade-offs between factors: a journey involving cycling may not be preferred by the same people who like to cycle if an automobile is involved and conflicts with attitudes to cars.

    To fill in the knowledge gaps discussed above, we propose the following research objectives:

    1. Develop a review of the current and emerging scientific and transport literature pertaining to the substantive drivers or variables behind travel mode choice as they apply to:

    i. multi-modal, multi-leg, multi-user journeys, and critical journeys

    ii. interaction effects among these variables.

    2. Develop a rationalised set of data inputs is required, in addition to a critique of said inputs that may be used to enhance future data quality and data gathering efforts.

    3. Develop standardised procedures that enable actors around Aotearoa/New Zealand to coordinate efforts and share comparable findings.

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  • Establishing a methodology for integrated transport accessibility measures

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Establishing a methodology for integrated transport accessibility measures

    Principal Economics Ltd

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this proposed research is to inform the establishment of a methodology for creating an integrated, multi-modal, multi-destination spatial accessibility measure, based on current infrastructure, demographics and destination-based accessibility, to replace vehicle mobility-based measures. The methodology should be applicable to both the current conditions of transport accessibility and scenario testing for evaluating different options.

    Below are listed the objectives of the research and the high-level approach. The project will proceed in two stages. The objectives are to:

    Stage one:

    a) Review national and international literature and experience of accessibility measures in transport.
    To address objective A, our literature review will adopt a three-fold approach. Firstly, we will delve into the strategic context of transport accessibility (Chapter 2). Subsequently, we will explore the significance of a paradigm shift in planning, transitioning from a focus on mere mobility to embracing accessibility, in line with the aforementioned strategic context (Chapter 3). Lastly, we will examine various transport accessibility measures and their methods and tools which can facilitate this essential paradigm shift (Chapter 4).

    b) Identify typical accessibility datasets used in urban areas worldwide, which may not be readily available within New Zealand, and suggest other approaches to measurement which may be adopted in short and long terms.
    To address objective B, Chapter 5 will focus on the use of different datasets, such as the Statistics NZ IDI and AI-generated data, alongside existing datasets like census, GTFS, traffic data, and network data. AI-generated data can play a role in filling short-term data gaps, particularly in assessing service quality and desirability, as well as generating mock network data for testing future development scenarios. Additionally, leveraging GTFS real-time data can help address data gaps related to service reliability and punctuality. Outcomes from this project could add value to existing frameworks at Waka Kotahi such as the ONE network framework, by providing additional that attributes are not currently considered.

    c) Identify how active-mode network analytics could consider levels of service and desirability of links, given the data sets currently available in New Zealand;
    To address Objective C, Chapter 5 we suggest investigating the potential of using AI with satellite imagery for generating data on traffic, safety and comfort for walking and cycling networks. Additionally, we will explore the integration of other relevant databases, such as AT's asset management data, which includes information on bus stop shelters and other amenities. To ensure a comprehensive analysis, we will incorporate NZ Police victimisation data to assess safety from crime within the network. By combining these diverse variables, we can create an accessibility impedance function1 that takes into account the desirability and level of service offered by the active-mode network, catering to pedestrians and cyclists.

    d) Explain the various ways live and static General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) files have been used overseas (and in New Zealand) to inform aspects of spatial accessibility (with more of a focus on connectivity rather than PT performance-analytics).
    To address Objective D, Chapter 5 will explore the methodologies for measuring the impact of public transport travel time inaccuracy and variability on spatial accessibility, using GTFS Realtime data. As will be discussed, static GTFS data may underestimate public transport (PT) accessibility by an average of 1.5%. However, it is noteworthy that in certain regions, the estimates of accessibility can deviate significantly, with some areas experiencing over or underestimations of more than 40% (Braga et al., 2023). The question is if the (spatial) measurement errors are random vs systematic.

    Stage two:

    e) Identify weighting and calibration factors for saturation curves to quantify diminishing additional benefit of reaching more destination-types;
    To address Objective E, Chapter 6 will define a saturation function with the property of decreasing marginal rate of return and one parameter for opportunities for different trip purposes. The saturation function will be calibrated using transport model outputs such as Simplified Model (add reference) (e.g. Total jobs in CBD for access to jobs, Median Enrolment in Auckland’s metropolitan area for access to tertiary education or large shopping malls with 1500 to 3000 retail workers).

    f) Use modal reach curves to quantify how far people are willing to travel in different New Zealand contexts to reach different destination types;
    To address Objective F, Chapter 6 will use Ministry of Transport’s (MoT) household travel survey (HTS) data to estimate the attractiveness of destinations for different socio-economic groups in various areas.

    g) Develop appropriate weighting for integrating different destination types into measures which take the price of land and transport into account and represent the 'value' of reaching different destination types for different population groups.
    To address Objective G, we will use multi-criteria analysis (MCA) to factor various dimensions of accessibility (such as land use, destination types, land price, transportation costs and the value of reaching different destination types for each population group) and assign weights to each criterion based on their relative importance.

    h) Inform production of a toolkit (being developed in parallel by Waka Kotahi) that will enable assessment and measurement of accessibility based on a wide range of measures, in addition to access to employment, at all levels of the transport system.
    To address Objective H, we will use the latest advances in transport accessibility tools to convert the proposed measure of accessibility to a programming solution that can be used by Waka Kotahi’s data science team for various applications of transport accessibility analysis. Our team are familiar with the software and coding languages used by Waka Kotahi, including our Project Manager (Saeid) who created the accessibility measurement tools currently implemented by Waka Kotahi.

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  • Methods for measuring mode share and mode shift at different spatial and time scales

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Methods for measuring mode share and mode shift at different spatial and time scales

    ARRB Group Ltd – National Transport Research Organisation

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Knowledge gap

    A review of a range of current cost-effective methods that can be implemented to robustly measure person-kilometres travelled by mode share and mode shift at a greater resolution (time, spatially and trip purpose) than currently possible to monitor transport system changes is needed.

    Purpose

    This will enable the creation of a bespoke integrated toolkit for improved mode-share measurement that will assist with many transport output and outcome measurements, such as modal emissions and risk-exposure per mode.

    Objectives

    This research will identify the most appropriate methods for measuring person-kilometres travelled mode shift and the underpinning mode share at sub-national spatial and short time scales. The objectives of the research are to:

    a. identify and develop methods for measuring mode shift and mode share that are responsive to regional and local scale interventions,

    b. identify and develop methods for measuring mode shift and mode share at these spatial and time scales across all journey types and modes,

    c. quantify the uncertainty and/or confidence intervals, and

    d. combine the research into an integrated mode share and mode shift measurement toolkit.

    These objectives need to be viewed in the broader context of moving people efficiently on our transport networks across all modes (in particular road and rail), while managing congestion and costs, and achieving emission targets.

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  • Mobility as a Service (MaaS) - what are the benefits and how do you realise these?
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2022/23

    Mobility as a Service (MaaS) - what are the benefits and how do you realise these?

    Trip Convergence Ltd

    October 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of the research is to inform policy making by the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi by

    • providing a critical review of the popular concept referred to as Mobility as a Service (MaaS) based on overseas experience of trials and deployments,
    • exploring the potential for MaaS in the New Zealand context,
    • determining the extent to which different types of incentives, delivered to transportation system users through MaaS, might bring about significant mode shift away from single occupant vehicle (SOV) driving, achieving emissions reduction, and equitable inclusive access, and
    • proposing a policy pathway to implementation.

    The objectives of the research are:

    1. A comprehensive understanding of the global MaaS experience to date, the context in which trials and deployments were implemented, the different models of deployment (including use of incentives and role of government), the range of benefits achieved (including but not limited to equity, inclusive access, mode shift, emissions reduction), the barriers encountered, and lessons learned, especially in terms of developing the MaaS offering, enticing mobility providers, sharing revenue, and achieving a minimum viable MaaS product offering.
    2. A comprehensive understanding of the New Zealand context that a MaaS implementation would sit within, considering (but not limited to) transportation equity, national emissions reduction objectives, existing mobility services, patterns of household vehicle ownership and use, and existing and planned policies (such as congestion pricing and fleet electrification) that might have an impact on the success of a MaaS implementation.
    3. A comprehensive understanding of the potential for incentives to deliver mode shift in New Zealand, nationally, by region, for a target corridor, and within relevant demographic groupings, exposing people’s propensity to travel by means other than SOV driving at different levels (within types) of incentive, and by different alternative modes and times, and the costs implied for different levels of desired impact, both to initiate change and to sustain it.
    4. A synthesis that brings together the results of the above three objectives of 1) the MaaS experience, 2) the New Zealand context, and 3) the potential for incentives to deliver mode shift, delivering a set of policy recommendations related to the implementation of MaaS, with incentives, in New Zealand, and the expected impact of implementing the recommendations.
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  • The demographics of Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT)

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    The demographics of Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT)

    Principal Economics

    October 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the motor vehicle profile of households across New Zealand, focusing on their demographic and spatial characteristics in relation to Vehicle Kilometres Travelled (VKT), emissions, and safety outcomes. The research aims to inform VKT reduction initiatives, transport policies, and decision-making at national, regional, and local levels.

    The study will use data from the Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI), Household Travel Survey (HTS), and Motor Vehicle Register (MVR) to derive statistical models that can help design and target policies and activities for reducing light vehicle kilometres traveled (VKT) and achieving sustainable transport outcomes.

    The resulting dataset from the research project will feature data on household demographics, vehicle ownership and usage patterns, GHG emissions, and related variables. We will work with Te Manatū Waka and the client teams in using this dataset as an input to generate the synthetic dataset (SURF) to serve as a cross check against Te Manatū Waka Monty outputs.

    The research will compare and review the spatial distribution of VKT, emissions, health impacts and safety profiles derived from this analysis with relevant existing models, i.e. HAPINZ and VEMT

    The research will proceed in two stages, with a continue or stop decision to be made at the end of stage one. The objectives of the research project are as follows:

    Stage one

    a. Review existing studies by Te Manatū Waka, Waka Kotahi, and other published sources to analyse residential/private light VKT and identify best practices for modelling and allocating light VKT.

    b. Identify the range and variances of household and individual demographic characteristics that can be extracted from the IDI and the Household Travel Survey (HTS) data for analysis and link them to vehicle ownership, use, and GHG emissions.

    Stage two

    c. Link odometer readings (VKT) to personal and household demographics while maintaining privacy and anonymity of records adhering to Statistics NZ IDI Five safes framework and confidentiality rules.

    d. Leverage the MVR to create a comprehensive fleet VKT/GHG profile regionally for use in the VEPM.

    e. Derive associations between demographics of VKT and GHG emissions, including safety and emissions profiles of households.

    f. Evaluate the safety profile of the vehicle fleet in terms of star ratings and compare it to regional DSI rates to identify areas where interventions may be necessary to reduce the risk of trauma.

    g. Use HAPINZ air quality health data to record health conditions due to transport emissions spatially as a layer and integrate it with the Vehicle Emission Mapping Tool (VEMT).

    h. Derive spatial and regional calculations of VKT emissions (CO2, NOx) for different demographic characteristics of households and compare them to official type-approval emissions profiles in Right Car.

    i. Create statistical models that link the main characteristics and impacts of people, households, location, vehicles, and vehicle use associated with patterns of VKT, including high-growth VKT.

    j. flexible outputs that can be input into a SQL database and include an accessible Synthetic Unit Record File (SURF) using a statistical model to be specified by Te Manatū Waka and the synthpop R package.

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Resilience and security

To minimise and manage the risk from natural and human-made hazards, anticipate and adapt to emerging threats and recover effectively from disruptive events.

  • Climate change interventions to reduce carbon and greenhouse gases – behavioural and economic instruments to effect mode change
    Year commissioned Project title Researcher Indicative delivery

    2021/22

    Climate change interventions to reduce carbon and greenhouse gases – behavioural and economic instruments to effect mode change

    Principal Economics Limited

    March 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    Research to understand how and to what extent the generalised cost between private vehicles and public transport/active modes need to change for mode shift to occur in New Zealand's three largest urban areas – Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Building on this, the research will consider the sequencing of the implementation of effective mode shift measures in these urban areas. The objectives of the research are: 

    a.    assess and determine the generalised costs necessary to facilitate mode shift from cars/light passenger vehicles to public transport and other active modes for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to reduce carbon/GHG emissions.

    b.    assess the different types of policy instruments that can be used to change the generalised costs between modes for Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to reduce carbon/GHG emissions.

    c.    an assessment of the effectiveness of identified pricing policy/instruments to reduce carbon/GHG emissions and their socio-economic impacts, including equity/distributional impacts in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

    d.    identify and assess how to sequence mode shift policy instruments to reduce carbon/GHG emissions in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

    e.    assess the types and quality of public transport that needs to be provided before and after the implementation of road charging/pricing systems in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

    f.     assess the public transport fare structure that needs to be implemented prior to and after the implementation of road charging/pricing in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

    g.    quantify the estimated range of carbon/GHG emissions of implementing the various policy approaches.

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  • Identification of strategic vulnerabilities in freight

    Year commissioned

    Project title

    Researcher

    Indicative delivery

    2023/24

    Identification of strategic vulnerabilities in freight

    Principal Economics Limited

    August 2024

    Purpose and objectives:

    The purpose of this research is two parts: Firstly, to identify significant vulnerabilities within the national transport network which could cause disruptions to the national freight network, impact on strategic supply chains and result in significant costs to end users. Secondly, to address mitigations activities which are currently, or could be, used to reduce or eliminate the vulnerabilities in part one.

    The objectives of the project are to:

    a)    To identify significant vulnerabilities within the national transport network which could cause disruptions to the national freight network, impact on strategic supply chains and result in significant costs to end users.

    b)    To address mitigations activities which are currently, or could be, used to reduce or eliminate the vulnerabilities.

    The analysis should include important nodes (eg, ports) and linkages (eg, roads) in the freight system and needs to predict what would happen to supply chains if they were unusable for a period.

    The outcome of this project will inform the need for hardening or building redundancy into the freight system.

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