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David Hensher

David Hensher

Professor of Management;
Director, Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies

Room 1340
C13 - St James Campus
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

Telephone +61 2 9114 1824
Fax +61 2 9114 1722
Curriculum vitae Curriculum vitae


David Hensher is Professor of Management, and Founding Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies (ITLS): The Australian Key Centre of Teaching and Research in Transport Management in The Business School at The University of Sydney. David is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia (FASSA), Recipient of the 2009 IATBR (International Association of Travel Behaviour Research) Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for his long-standing and exceptional contribution to IATBR as well as to the wider travel behaviour community, Recipient of the 2006 Engineers Australia Transport Medal for lifelong contribution to transportation, Recipient of the 2009 Bus NSW (Bus and Coach Association) Outstanding Contribution to Industry Award, and Recipient of the 2012 best paper released by the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME). David is also the recipient of the Smart 2013 Premier Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Management. Partner in the Volvo Educational and Research Foundation Centre of Excellence in Bus Rapid Transit (2010 onwards), Honorary Fellow Singapore Land Transport Authority Academy and Past Member of Singapore Land Transport Authority International Advisory Panel (Chaired by Minister of Transport), Past President of the International Association of Travel Behaviour Research and a Vice-Chair of the International Scientific Committee of the World Conference of Transport Research. David is the Executive Chair and Co-Founder of The International Conference in Competition and Ownership of Land Passenger Transport (the Thredbo Series), now in its 22nd year.

David is on the editorial boards of 11 of the leading transport journals and appointed in 2012 to the Editorial Board on Research in Transportation Economics Elsevier). David was appointed in 1999 by one of the worlds most prestigious academic publishing houses - Elsevier Science press - as series and volume editor of a handbook series Handbooks in Transport. In 2010 he was appointed by Routledge Publishers (UK) as Editor of a four-volume major works in Transport Economics as well as Edward Elgar Publishers as Series Editor for volumes on Transport and the Environment. He has published extensively (over 500 papers) in the leading international transport and economics journals (such as The Economic Journal, Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Econometrics, Journal of Applied Econometrics, Applied Economics) as well as 12 books and is Australia's most cited transport academic and number three academic economist. His books include the Demand for Automobiles, published by North-Holland, the Bus and Coach Business (with Ann Brewer published - Allen and Unwin), Transport: An Economics and Management Perspective (With Ann Brewer, Oxford University Press), Stated Choice Methods (with Jordan Louviere and Joffre Swait, Cambridge University Press), Applied Choice Analysis - a Primer (with John Rose and Bill Greene, Cambridge University Press) and Ordered Choice Models (with Bill Greene, Cambridge University Press). His particular interests are transport economics, transport strategy, sustainable transport, productivity measurement, traveller behaviour analysis, choice analysis, stated choice experiments, and institutional reform (PPPs, privatisation tendering and contracting).

David has advised numerous government and private sector organisations on matters related to transportation, especially matters related to forecasting demand for existing and new transportation services; for example the Speedrail project, the Liverpool-Parramatta Transitway, the North-West Rail project, the Sydney Metro, and numerous tollroad projects throughout Australia and internationally. David is regarded as Australia's most eminent expert on matters relating to travel demand and valuation and transport reform. Appointments over recent years include: a member of the executive committee that reviewed bus transport bids for the Olympic Games, the NSW Government's Peer Review Committee for the Sydney Strategic Transport Plan, Peer reviewer for Transfund (NZ) of the New Zealand project evaluation program, Peer reviewer of the NZ Land Passenger Transport Procurement Strategy for Land Transport NZ, member of the executive committee of ATEC, a consortium promoting a freight rail system between Melbourne and Darwin; economic adviser to Gilbert+Tobin Lawyers on valuation methods in IP context; panel member of Transport NSW benchmarking program; specialist toll road project adviser to Thiess, and member of Infrastructure Australia's reference panel on public transport.

Newsroom articles

  • WestConnex has a numbers issue: What are they? 05 Apr 2014

    Sydney Morning Herald

    Professor David Hensher is quoted on the WestConnex toll road planned to be built through and under Sydney's inner west.

  • Global port research alliance gets underway 02 Jan 2014

    Maritime Executive, Transport and Logistics News, and Daily Commercial News

    Maritime Executive, Transport and Logistics News and Daily Commercial News report that ITLS has joined with six of the world's leading research institutions in an effort to address the complex challenges facing ports and their related maritime and logistics industries.

  • Traffic congestion plea 20 Nov 2013

    Today Tonight

    Today Tonight interviews David Hensher about about traffic solutions for congestion on our roads.

  • Learning to keep it real 28 Oct 2013

    Sydney Morning Herald

    How well do postgraduate degrees prepare students for actual workplaces? ITLS Founding Director Professor David Hensher says problem-based learning is the key.

  • Bus over light rail 15 Oct 2013

    ABC - Australian Bus and Coach

    South Australians and Queenslanders would prefer to see investment in buses over light rail, according to the latest quarterly national transport survey from the University of Sydney. David Hensher explains why this is an important consideration for governments when planning new public transport infrastructure.

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Research Grants


Integrating Attribute Decision Heuristics into Travel Choice Models that accommodate Risk Attitude and Perceptual Conditioning

This proposal has the specific objective of integrating two disconnected literatures that are having a major influence on the behavioural and statistical performance of discrete choice models in travel choice modelling. These fields are attribute processing strategies and the conditioning of the marginal utility of attributes by risk attitude and perceptual conditioning. These two major developments have not been jointly integrated into a behaviourally richer representation of choice making. Given the encouraging evidence from both literatures, the research will determine more precisely the benefits in terms of improved estimates of willingness to pay for specific attributes and also increased predictive power.

ARC Discovery Project


Assessment of the commuter's willingness to pay a congestion charge under alternative pricing regimes and revenue disbursement plans

The call to replace fixed charges with car use related charges, has placed congestion charging regimes at the centre of future variable user charging policy. This project investigates the impact and acceptability of alternative charging schemes in terms of the charge level, the regime (for example, distance versus cordon), and how revenue is disbursed.

ARC Discovery Project


Valuation of service reliability and crowding under risk and uncertainty: neglected drivers of demand for public transport

The reliability of public transport services, and the amount of crowding at stations and also on trains and on buses, have come under strong criticism. This study identifies the role that improved reliability and reduced crowding play in influencing the switch from car to public transport for the commute.

ARC Discovery Project

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Research Expertise

  • Economic evaluation
  • Performance and productivity measurement
  • Privatisation and deregulation
  • Stated preference methods
  • Sustainable transport
  • Transport economics and choice modelling
  • Transport policy
  • Transport policy/transport strategy

Recent Units Taught


Professor David Hensher is developing ideas to improve public transport and reduce traffic congestion on our roads. In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, these changes will improve people's lifestyles and productivity. (June 2012)

2:13 mins Play video Download video (mp4 - Mb) Watch on YouTube

ITLS Director, Professor David Hensher, discusses the work of ITLS in the Centre of Excellence for Bus Rapid Transit development. (May 2011)

11:16 mins Play video Download video (mp4 - 278Mb) Watch on YouTube

Professor David Hensher, ITLS presents his latest research about the challenges facing the NSW transport system. (May 2011)

77:26 mins Play video Download video (mp4 - 546.14Mb) Watch on YouTube

Prof David Hensher believes that what makes the Business School outstanding is its ability to communicate with industry and government to influence real change. (April 2011)

2:05 mins Play video Download video (mp4 - 15.42Mb) Watch on YouTube

David Hensher on the critical NSW election issue of Transport. (March 2011)

1:27 mins Play video Download video (mp4 - 10.91Mb) Watch on YouTube

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