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 convenor is Professor Rico Merkert, Chair in Transport and Supply Chain Management, and Dr Jyoti Bhattacharjya. As seminars are confirmed details are listed below.

Seminars are normally held fortnightly on Tuesdays, between March and November (with a break in July), from 2:00pm to 3:00pm. Please check the venue details listed under each seminar.

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.

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Upcoming Seminars for 2018

Urban Transport Policy-making – changing perspectives and consequences

Date: 28th Mar 2018 02:00 pm

Speaker: Professor Peter Jones, University College London

Venue: LS 1090, Abercrombie Building (H70)

Abstract: An examination of major North-west European urban transport policy trends by the EU ‘CREATE’ project has identified a pattern of changing dominant policy perspectives over time, that have been associated with differences in policy dialogues, dominant actors, policy measures and patterns of travel behaviour. These changes have also placed increasing demands on our analytical methodologies – in particular, in our modelling, forecasting and appraisal requirements and capabilities. The presentation will explore some of the practical consequences of these changing policy perspectives, and will consider some of the emerging pressures on cities and how they might respond.

Bio: Peter Jones is Professor of Transport and Sustainable Development in the Centre for Transport Studies at UCL. He is a member of the Independent Transport Commission, the DfT’s Science Advisory Council and co-chair of its Joint Analysis Development Panel. He is Scientific Co-ordinator for the EU funded ‘CREATE’ project on trends in urban mobility and was awarded an OBE for services to national transport policy, in January 2017.

He has a wide range of transport research and teaching interests, covering both analytical methods and policy. These include transport policy, traveller attitudes and behaviour, travel trends and the determinants of travel demand, traffic restraint studies, accessibility studies, policy option generation, major transport economic and social impact studies, public engagement, development of new survey and appraisal methods, and advances in urban street planning and design.


Anticipating a World of Shared Autonomous Vehicles: Cost, Energy, and Urban System Implications

Date: 4th Apr 2018 01:00 pm

Speaker: Dr Kara Kockelman, Dewitt Greer Professor of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin

Venue: Seminar Room 3200, Abercrombie Building (H70)

Abstract: Connected and (fully-) automated vehicles (CAVs) are set to disrupt the  ways in which we travel. CAVs will affect road safety, congestion levels,  vehicle ownership and destination choices, long-distance trip-making  frequencies, mode choices, and home and business locations. Benefits in the  form of crash savings, driving burden reductions, fuel economy, and parking  cost reductions are on the order of $2,000 per year per CAV, rising to nearly  $5,000 when comprehensive crash costs are reflected. However, vehicle-miles  traveled (VMT) are likely to rise, due to AVs traveling empty, longer-distance  trip-making, and access for those currently unable to drive, such as those with  disabilities. New policies and practices are needed, to avoid CAV pitfalls  while exploiting their benefits.

Shared AVs (SAVs) will offer many people access to  such technologies at relatively low cost (e.g., $1 per mile), with  empty-vehicle travel on the order of 10 to 15 percent of fleet VMT. If SAVs are  smaller and electric or more fuel efficient, and dynamic ride-sharing is  enabled and regularly used, emissions and energy demand may fall. If road tolls  are thoughtfully applied, using GPS across all congested segments and times of  day, total VMT may not rise: instead, travel times - and their unreliability -  may fall. If credit-based congestion pricing is used, traveler welfare may rise  and transportation systems may ultimately operate near-optimally. This  presentation will present research relating to all these topics, to help  students and researchers think about policies, technologies, and other tools to  improve quality of life for all travelers.

Bio: Dewitt Greer Professor of Civil, Architectural &  Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin, Kara  Kockelman is a registered professional engineer and holds a PhD, MS, and BS  in civil engineering, a master’s of city planning, and a minor in economics  from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Kockelman has been a  professor of transportation engineering at the University of Texas at Austin  for the past 19 years. She is primary and co-author of over 140 journal  articles (and one book) across a variety of subjects, nearly all of which  involve transportation-related data analysis. Her primary research interests  include planning for shared and autonomous vehicle systems, the statistical  modeling of urban systems (including models of travel behavior, trade, and  location choice), energy and climate issues (vis-à-vis transport and land use  decisions), the economic impacts of transport policy, and crash occurrence and  consequences. For the past few months, she has been a Visiting and Honorary  Professor at the University of Queensland.

The need for collaboration between authorities and operators in determining the terms and conditions of public transport contracting

Date: 4th Apr 2018 02:00 pm

Speaker: Professor Jackie Walters, University of Johannesburg

Venue: Seminar Room 3200, Abercrombie Building (H70)

Abstract: The costs of public transport contracts are continuously being scrutinised in the light of tight economic circumstances. In designing public transport contracts it is important that an appropriate risk-share dispensation be considered to ensure that the relevant entity (the authority and/or operator) carries the risk that it is best suited to manage. Inappropriate risk-sharing arrangements can result in additional costs being factored into contract bids by operators thus increasing the overall cost of public transport for the authority. In addition, the design of the contract e.g. net cost versus gross cost (and associated risk apportionment) could have a bearing on the ultimate cost of the contract.

This paper explores the views of 15 contracted bus operators representing 4950 buses in South Africa about their views on contract risks,  based on their experiences of such contracts over many years of public transport contracting. The lessons learned from this research will assist contracting authorities in understanding how operators respond and view risks associated with various controllable and uncontrollable matters related to public transport contracting.

Bio: Prof Walters holds a Doctoral degree in Transport Economics from the Rand Afrikaans University (RAU), now the University of Johannesburg (UJ). His academic speciality includes public transport and aviation policy studies, as well as transport economics and logistics.

He joined the Rand Afrikaans University (now the University of Johannesburg) in 1982 where he lectured under- and post-graduate students in Transport Economics. He is currently the Chairperson of the Department of Transport and Supply Chain Management. In this position he is also extensively involved in the department’s industry training programmes for the freight and passenger transport sectors. More than 60 000 people have been trained on these programmes to date. Currently the department has more than 5400 students studying towards various qualifications in transportation and logistics.

In addition to being the chair of the department, he is also the Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS)(Africa), a research unit working in close collaboration with the University of Sydney. This unit focuses on a range of research topics in collaboration with departmental researchers and industry partners as well as post graduate research-based studies, publication of the Journal of Transport and Supply chain management, information dissemination and specialist industry training programmes.

He has been involved in numerous research projects on a multi modal basis and is author and co- author of a number of papers and publications.

Recent research work focuses on the impact of policies on the development of the commuter bus industry, the public transport tendering system as well as general overviews of developments in public transport and the aviation industry in South Africa.

He also serves on a number of committees appointed by the South African Department of Transport and has been a member of the steering committee for the recently completed Gauteng Master Plan. He has also been a specialist adviser to the Southern African Bus Operators Association since 1989.

He has travelled extensively and studied public transport systems and policies throughout the world.