Public Transport (ITLS6104)


Public transport is of central importance for the future sustainability of modern cities. Understanding the complexities of, and potential solutions using public transport means this unit is of significance to all areas of transport, urban planning, public administration and passenger logistics. The unit investigates the different characteristics of public transport systems as a basis for creating a framework to analyse public transport performance. Within this framework the unit considers topics relevant to an understanding of public transport operations and the role of public transport in the overall transport 'offer'. Focussing on the issues and impacts of public transport on urban centres and for rural areas, the unit builds an appreciation of the importance, the drivers and the problems of achieving efficient operation of transport systems. The role of the institutional framework and the financial environment are explored with key learning for public transport operations and policy identified to explain explaining why countries/states have different levels and types of public transport. The unit provides an interactive environment to explore issues and takes current day policy concerns as case study examples. A field trip in Sydney highlights and consolidates issues considered in the unit.

Further unit of study information


12 x 3.5 hr interactive sessions, 1 day field trip. Refer to timetable for full details.


News diary (20%), critical literature review (40%), take home exam (25%), field trip report (15%)


HiTrans (2005) HiTrans Best Practice Guides, Five volumes:
1. Public transport and land use planning
2. Public transport: planning the networks
3. Public transport and urban
4. Public transport: mode options and technical solutions
5. Public transport: citizens' requirements
Mallard G and Glaister S (2008) Transport Economics, Theory, Application and Policy
Vuchic VR (2005) Urban Transit Systems and Technology
Vuchic VR (2007) Urban Transit: Operations, Planning and Economics
Walker J (2011) Human Transit: How clearer thinking about public transport can enrich our communities and our lives
White P (2009) Public Transport: Its Planning, Management and Operation

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules


ITLS5100 or TPTM6241

Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.