Leadership and Policy Seminar Series

Established in 2003, the ITLS Leadership and Policy Seminar Series benefits from leading national and international experts (CEOs, Visiting Professors etc) speaking on topical transport and logistics issues relevant to business and academia. The seminar series attracts a broad audience from industry, government and academia as well as our own faculty and research students. Seminars are usually one hour long including the presentation and time for Q&A.

Our seminar convenors are Professor Corinne Mulley, Chair in Public Transport and Dr Rico Merkert, Senior Lecturer in Aviation Management. As seminars are confirmed details are listed below.

Seminars are normally held fortnightly on Tuesdays, between February and November (with a break in July), from 11am to noon with coffee and tea available from 10.30am. The venue is: Lecture Theatre 2, Level 1, 173-175 Phillip Street, Sydney CBD. See directions.

Invitations are sent to our mailing list at least one week in advance. Seminars are free, however, an RSVP is required, so please respond to the seminar invitation. Join our seminars mailing list.

Mike Smart

Date: 16th Sep 2014

Speaker: Mike Smart, Sapere Research Group

Topic: Optimal public transport fares for Sydney


In this presentation, Mike Smart will outline an approach for determining optimal public transport fares. The main insight is that ideal fares diverge from marginal costs because of externalities. In a series of studies for IPART, Mike has quantified the key externalities relating to congestion, pollution and accidents. From these, socially optimal fare levels can be estimated. Public transport subsidies can also be optimised using this approach. This work has influenced recent fare determinations.


Mike Smart is a director of Sapere Research Group and an economist specialising in competition law, competitive strategy in concentrated industries and regulation of networks. He consults widely on third party access to essential facilities across the rail, telecommunications, gas, payment systems and aviation sectors. Mike has given expert evidence in the Federal Court of Australia and the Australian Competition Tribunal. He is a member of the Competition and Consumer Committee of the Law Council of Australia, and the Economic Society of Australia. Since 2008 he has advised IPART on fare reviews for rail, bus and ferry services.

Date: 7th Oct 2014

Speaker: Rob Tyson, PwC

Topic: Transport and urban economics

Date: 14th Oct 2014

Speaker: Clint Feuerherdt, Transit Systems

Topic: TBC

Date: 28th Oct 2014

Speaker: Sally Stannard, TRANSlink

Topic: Public transport frequency matters: the South East Queensland experience

Date: 11th Nov 2014

Speaker: A/Prof Karen Lucas, ITS, University of Leeds

Topic: TBC

Abigail Bristow

Date: 25th Nov 2014

Speaker: Prof Abigail Bristow, Loughborough University

Topic: The Cost of Transportation Noise: What can Meta-analysis of Stated Preference Studies tell us?


Monetary values of the costs of noise nuisance are needed to inform policy development and decision making, ensuring that the benefits of interventions to reduce noise at the emitter or receiver exceed the costs. As there is no market for quiet, the classic approach to valuing noise nuisance has been to seek a market within which noise is implicitly valued, typically the housing market where price is a function of a bundle of characteristics of the house and the neighbourhood including noise. However, such approaches are limited with respect to uncovering current preferences of residents and stated preference approaches have become increasingly popular.

This presentation reports the first meta-analysis and most extensive review of stated preference studies of transportation noise nuisance. The meta-analysis is based on a newly compiled data set of 258 values from 49 studies and 23 countries and spanning more than 40 years. A particularly significant finding of the study is that the intertemporal income elasticity is close to one, somewhat larger than the cross-sectional income elasticity typically obtained from individual studies. This demonstrates the importance of distinguishing the effects of income variations that occur over time, which tend to drive policy, from variations across individuals at one point in time, and such findings are typical of those observed in other markets. Importantly, the values derived are transferable across countries and may be used to benchmark existing evidence and provide values in contexts where none exist. Other key results are that values for aircraft noise exceed those for other modes, whilst those exposed to higher noise levels and those who are highly annoyed also have higher values in line with expectations. A wide range of design effects were tested but few were significant and these included the consumer surplus measure, the representation of noise and the context.


Abigail Bristow is Professor of Transport Studies and leader of the Transport Studies Group within the School of Civil and Building Engineering at Loughborough University. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Acoustics (IOA) and the Royal Society of the Arts. She was a Board Member and subsequently a Director of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership from 2007 to 2011. Her main research interests are in the environmental effects of transport with a particular focus on the value of noise and quiet and cost effective approaches to carbon mitigation and the provision and appraisal of transport services. She has published widely in these areas. Her work on the economic valuation of transport noise has involved the application of stated choice techniques to value road transport noise nuisance in Edinburgh, Kunming and Lisbon and aircraft noise nuisance in Athens, Bangkok, Bucharest, Lyon and Manchester. She recently completed a pioneering meta-analysis of stated choice valuation studies in the context of transportation noise.