WA | Transport Thesis Evening

5:00pm Tuesday, 19 November 2019
8:30pm Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Transport Modellers
5/863 Hay Street
Perth, Western Australia 6000

The YPN is back with another thesis event following the success of 2018! This year, we will have six speakers from UWA, Curtin University and Fremantle Port Authority. Join us as they present the findings from their research and hear the innovations from these emerging professionals.

Presentations will commence at 6.00pm, speakers will each have 10 minutes to present their thesis findings, with 20 minutes of question time at the end of the final presentation.

Speakers and their topics:

Marius Minnaar | Urban Ports and Social Licence: An International Perspective
Marius is an Urban and Regional Planning graduate from Curtin University who finished his degree in July 2019. During his final years of study, he developed a strong interest in the freight and logistics industry. Marius is now working at Fremantle Ports on a stakeholder engagement project which aims to strengthen the ports social licence Marius chose his thesis topic as he is passionate about planning for future growth while maintaining and building on the industry’s social licence. Conducting research on social licence for urban ports as part of his honours thesis, including international case studies from the Port of Rotterdam and Port of Antwerp, has help him develop a deeper appreciation for the industry and the complexity of its operations. 

There is significant complexity that exists in the port-city relationship. Opposing interests, competition for land and the difficulty of balancing business interest with environmental and social requirements have all contributed to the development of this complex relationship. It is the intent of this research project to contribute to managing this complex relationship for the mutual benefit of urban ports and the cities they are located in by exploring the potential of establishing a Social Licence to Operate (SLO). The research explored the phenomenon of SLO in two international case studies that are considered to reflect best practice examples in stakeholder management, governance and port planning; the Port of Rotterdam and the Port of Antwerp. Findings from this work has indicated that the decision-making process during port planning projects and the ports public image contribute to its ability to develop and maintain an SLO.  

Andrew Smetherham | The Influence of Infrastructure and Train Frequency on Rushing for Trains
Andrew is in his final year of study in a Bachelor of civil engineering at Curtin University. As part of his final year research project, Andrew has conducted an investigation into the behaviours and perceptions of patrons around rushing for trains at heritage line (Armadale, Fremantle and Midland) stations in Perth. Access infrastructure and train frequency were focal points of this study, as these will be significantly altered when Perth’s rail network adapts to higher patronage demands. 

From the results of passive observation of 100 patrons across Claisebrook Station, Cannington Station and Oats Street Station, logistic regression modelling and a review of existing survey comments from rushing patrons, Andrew was able to determine factors which significantly influence patrons’ successful boarding of trains. These results provide a trend that can be used for further investigation into the rushing phenomenon that has not yet been explored in literature. Additionally, they can be used to inform the planning and design of future stations and platform upgrades in Perth.

Samson Ting | Investigating the economic viability of a reservation-based demand responsive transport service
Samson is currently studying a Masters of Civil Engineering at the University of Western Australia, for his research topic Samson has chosen to investigate the economic viability of a reservation-based demand responsive transport (RDRT) service.

Demand responsive transport (DRT) is a type of flexible transport service that is designed to address the shortcomings of conventional public transport by allowing variability in its routing, scheduling or both. However, an unnecessarily high degree of responsiveness such as real time DRT service inevitably introduces more uncertainty and complexity, which could reduce the level of service and increase the operating cost.

This research proposes a reservation-based DRT (RDRT) service and investigates its economic viability. Such a business model is envisaged to reduce uncertainty and operating cost by avoiding unnecessary detour, which could benefit both customers and service providers. Its relatively static nature is appropriate for daily commuters with predictable trip patterns.

Two solution approaches are designed as attempts to solve the corresponding routing and scheduling problem, namely: 1) a top-down approach that uses genetic algorithm (GA) to centrally optimise the plan and 2) a bottom-up approach using an original agent-based negotiation (AN) structure where autonomous agents representing the customers negotiate with one another to generate a plan. The profitability of the proposed RDRT service is tested under various scenarios including different public transport stop density and headway, and under different percentages of demand directionality. 

Liam Cummins | Hybridising the conventional Fixed-Route with Demand-Responsive Transit 
Liam is a PhD candidate with a background in mechanical engineering at the University of Western Australia. As part of his PhD project proposal, Liam is studying combining the flexibility of DRT with high capacity FRT to service existing needs.

Private vehicles dominate the transport mode share in low density sprawled cities, resulting in excessive traffic congestion and pollution that mars its economy, productivity and health. Mass transport has the capability to remedy these issues by consolidating passengers into a denser transportation mode, though its conventionally implemented form of fixed-route transit (FRT) amounts insignificant patronage. This is due to the wider spread population characteristic to urban sprawl inhibiting the services desirability. 

The anticipated arrival of autonomous vehicle technology has fuelled the movement towards new transit methods under the guise of Mobility as a Service (MaaS), replacing the need for privately owned vehicles. Popular interpretations of MaaS envision a fleet of demand-responsive transit (DRT) vehicles servicing peoples journey requests. However, problems arise with their high operation cost and conduciveness to further congestion when employed in sprawled locations as dead running journeys are compounded. This has inspired the use of a hybrid system, combining the flexibility of DRT with high capacity FRT to service our transportation needs. This research aims to present an improved strategy to spatially operate paired fixed-route and demand-responsive transit (FRDRT) in relation to its predecessors.

Sonja Stemler| Towards an Agent-Based and Fully Integrated Land Use and Transport Model for Perth
Sonja is in her final year of a Master’s Degree in civil engineering at the University of Western Australia. Her final year research project aims to develop a fully integrated land use and transport model for Greater Perth.

Land use and transport are highly interwoven and interdependent, complex and stochastic systems. Thus, computer models are required to support land use and transport planning to mitigate risks caused by future uncertainties, especially in the current age of disruption.

Conventional models simulate either land use or transport in isolation and therefore fail to capture the reciprocal dynamics and feedback loops. Integrated land use and transport models were put forward as the solution, but the uptake has been slow due to real and perceived issues of data availability and computing time. The "static equilibrium" assumption is another common drawback of conventional models.

To overcome these challenges, this research project developed the first agent-based and fully integrated land use and transport model for Greater Perth by coupling the land use model 'Simple Integrated Land Use Orchestrator' (SILO) with the transport model 'Multi-Agent Transport Simulation' (MATSim).

Robert Pennefather | Detecting Bottlenecks Along Major Roads
Robert is in his final year of a Master’s Degree in computer software engineering at the University of Western Australia. Robert’s research involved the development of Perth’s freeway model to identify and define the severity of bottlenecks.

The term bottleneck is commonly used in the transport industry but poorly defined. It is generally identified it as a potential cause of repeated congestion. Although experts have good understanding of where bottlenecks are, having a formal and agreed method of detecting them can remove the subjectivity. 

This research project has developed models for Perth's freeways with the use of historical traffic data. Using unsupervised clustering algorithms, the model can identify bottleneck positions as well as their relative severity. Various quantities of data have been analysed in order to find the optimum amount of historical data required to accurately identify bottlenecks. This research aims to help transport planners make comparable measures across the network, as well as providing a method for assessing the effect infrastructure upgrades have on bottleneck positions and severity.

Transport: Venue is located a short walk away from Perth Underground train station. If you are driving to the venue, the closest undercover carpark is CPP – His Majesty’s (Fee payable).

AITPM Members: Free
Non Members: $50



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