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Research Report 524 Development of a public transport investment model

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This research was the first stage in developing an investment model aimed at assisting regional authorities and the NZ Transport Agency to make public transport investment decisions. The approach assumed that public transport (PT) subsidies should be invested to maximise allocative efficiency – ie in a way that ensures society gains the greatest overall net benefit from PT. To do this, the investment model applies a second-best pricing method to estimate optimum fare and implied subsidy levels for urban public transport. The model takes into account operating costs and externalities of alternative transport modes (cars and PT), including safety and congestion effects. It also incorporates network spillover effects for existing PT users from changes in frequency. The result is an economic model that incorporates the interactions between prices, service levels and patronage for public transport (bus initially) and private car, and associated performance indicators.

Research Report 586 Regionalisation of the National Land Transport Demand Model

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports

Research was undertaken to convert a National Land Transport Demand Model to a Regional Land Transport Demand Model. The new is intended to be used to construct quantitative long-term (30 year) regional transport planning scenarios. Model development undertaken included a series of regional and spatial econometric models covering: intra-regional density effects, land use and transport demand (congestion); regional mode of travel choices; inter-regional freight flows by origin and destination; and calibration of regional migration based on age- and location-specific propensities to migrate. Keywords: demand, freight, household travel, model, projections, regions, scenario modelling, transport

Research Report 518 Econometric models for public transport forecasting

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This paper presents the findings from an econometric analysis of public transport patronage growth for a selection of New Zealand cities: Auckland, Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga. The primary objective of the econometric analysis was to provide an explanation of historic growth patterns and, in doing so, provide up-to-date public transport elasticities for use by transport planners and policy analysts. The econometric methods employed differ from conventional approaches because we used panel data models to analyse patronage patterns at a disaggregated level (ie bus route, bus corridor or train line) rather than at a network or city level. We consider that this approach produces more accurate estimates and demonstrates that statistical methods can be used to ‘post-evaluate’ the effectiveness of past public transport investments and the impacts of fare increases.

Research Report 520 - National long-term land transport demand model

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report describes a national long-term land transport demand model (NLTDM) for evaluating transport demand scenarios looking out 30 years and taking account of mega-trends in: population growth dynamics; spatial demographic trends; technology trends; income and economic growth; industrial composition; and policy.

Research Report 614 Establishing the value of resilience

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Resilience is universally understood to be a ‘good’ concept. Improving the ability to prevent, or respond to, disruption is objectively desirable. However, the means by which we look to achieve resilience is more subjective and debatable. What do we want to be resilient to?
How do we prioritise investment to improve resilience to disruption?
How should stakeholders be consulted when making decisions about resilience?
In addition to the subjectivity of resilience is a plurality of terms, definitions and understanding of the various concepts relating to resilience. A lack of consistency in this regard makes it more difficult for decision makers to do what is right for communities of interest. With this in mind, the NZ Transport Agency commissioned research to ‘establish a consistent approach to transport resilience; terminology, levels of service, valuation and responses’.

Research Report 534 Drivers of demand for transport

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

Frontier Economics was engaged by the NZ Transport Agency to assist in identifying a 'best fit' methodology for assessing the historical relationship in New Zealand between: 1) economic activity and road freight activity; and 2) income growth and passenger vehicle travel. The Transport Agency would like to use these models to develop long-term road transport forecasts. The present report represents an initial step in this modelling exercise. The objective was to inform the development of demand models by exploring both data availability and analytical steps that should be considered when developing demand models. The actual development of the models and the estimation of the key parameters are outside the scope and will be undertaken under a separate research project.

Research Report 479 The economic and land use impacts of transformational transport investment

Published: | Category: Economic development , Environmental impacts of land transport , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

The purpose of this research, which was undertaken between July 2010 and June 2011, was to develop, test and recommend additional methodologies that could be used to quantify the economic productivity and land use impacts when assessing transformational or structural transport investments over time. Currently there is a knowledge gap in this area and the intention was to develop a more strategic approach to assist in gaining greater value for money from future transport investments. We investigated how it might be possible to get a forward-looking view of the productivity and land use changes associated with transformational transport investments. In our view, the retrospective case study approach can be used to provide a predictive tool to assess land use and productivity effects of transformational transport investments. One key factor that enables this is that the tool is intended to be employed at the project inception phase.

Research Report 594 Demonstrating the benefit of network operation activities

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports

The benefits and processes for evaluating economic outcomes of ‘standard’ transport interventions are well recognised – infrastructure improvements, intersection treatments, public transport schemes, safety improvements etc. Operations activities such as network optimisation, ITS system operation, traffic management, events, traveller information, ‘soft’ measures etc, are generally accepted to be beneficial. Compared with other interventions, these activities generally require significantly lower investment and therefore industry practices and views are that any benefits are likely to return high value-for-money outcomes. Historically there has been limited requirement in New Zealand to carry out in-depth economic assessments of operations activities. The methodologies and approaches for carrying out benefit appraisal of operations activities are not well established. In line with the NZ Transport Agency better business case approach, operations activities need to be considered as part of the potential lifecycle of transport solutions and evaluated alongside, or as part of, the main investment solution options.

Research Report 546 Measuring the resilience of transport infrastructure

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: Road traffic engineers & consultants

Internationally there is a growing call to improve the resilience of our critical infrastructure. This is in response to a realisation that the services we take for granted may be robust in the face of predictable hazards/failures, but are in fact extremely fragile in the face of unanticipated shocks. In the context of transport infrastructure, operators strive to ensure that transport assets and services function continually and safely in the face of a range of existing and emerging hazards. This has led to a specific focus on the concept of resilience and how this can be defined, measured and improved across the transport system. The theory of resilience was researched and a measurement framework has been proposed that broadly covers both technical and organisational dimensions of resilience and breaks these down into specific principles and measures which can be utilised to qualitatively assess resilience.

Research Report 642 The influence of internet use on transport demand

Published: | Category: Economic development , Research programme , Research & reports | Audience: General

This report presents a discussion of the influence that internet-enabled communication technologies are having, and might have, on patterns of transport demand in New Zealand. First, a range of mechanisms by which the internet could reasonably be expected to influence transport demand are described. In-depth interviews with decision makers at public and private organisations in New Zealand highlighted two main areas where change is being driven by internet communication technologies: direct effects on transport demand; and the changing nature of the physical workplace, which has outcomes for transport demand as people change where, when and how they work. There is a dearth of literature that quantifies a causal association between use of the internet and transport demand. Additionally, suitable datasets to measure the influence at city, regional or national levels do not currently exist in New Zealand.