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ARC grant to fund research likely to aid transport planning

08 Nov 2013

Professor David Hensher

The Australian Research Council (ARC) has awarded the University of Sydney Business School's Professor David Hensher, a grant of more than 400,000 dollars to fund a study which will examine the choices made by members of the travelling public and the public's willingness to pay for various passenger transport options.

Professor Hensher is the Founding Director of the Business School's Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies and an internationally recognised authority in the transport field.

"The aim of the research is to improve our ability to make accurate forecasts as to the risks associated with our investment in major transport infrastructure such as toll roads and public transport," Professor Hensher said.

"Our forecasting has in this area not been all that accurate in the past," Professor Hensher added. "Understanding how individuals view different options in a setting of high risk in changing travel behaviour will allow us to develop improved forecasting models able to reduce the level of patronage risk in the future."

"The largest infrastructure investment that we make is in roads (and increasingly in public transport) and yet we do not have a clear understanding of whether members of the travelling public will choose to use these roads and public transport modes once they are completed," he said.

"Thanks to this research grant, we may be able to undertake these projects with a greater degree of certainty in the major source of project risk, namely traffic or patronage, and hence revenue risk."

The Australian Research Council is a statutory agency within the Australian Government with a mission "to deliver policy and programs that advance Australian research and innovation globally and benefit the community".

The Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies, which was established in 1991, undertakes graduate teaching, management development programs, grant and contract research and development in the fields of transport and logistics in Australia and around the world.