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Research projects to investigate public transport

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Research projects to investigate public transport use

Two significant research contracts funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency’s 2008-09 research programme have been awarded to staff in Massey's School for People, Environment and Planning.

Associate Professor Christine Cheyne and Dr Imran Muhammad, of the school's resource and environmental planning programme, are each leading a project.

Dr Cheyne will gather data on transport implications of population shifts in non-metropolitan regions, including a survey and interviews with residents in those regions about their use or non-use of public transport.

"This research seeks to fill a gap in research about public transport attitudes and behaviour", she says "Existing research has been conducted mainly in metropolitan areas or large urban centres.”

With environmental and economic factors now influencing a shift away from private transport, there
are some challenges for parts of New Zealand that have smaller populations, Dr Cheyne says.

“They cannot support conventional mass volume public transport. But there is a lot of scope for shared transport or what is known as demand responsive transport. Our research will focus on the potential for expansion of such options."

The second project, led by Dr Muhammed, will prepare a best-practice guide for public transport planning in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

"The strength of this project lies in its international research team and this project will draw directly on expertise from Australian and northern European universities," says Dr Muhammad.

"This research project will investigate ways to maximise public transport performance – through improved network planning with limited resources – in the specific conditions found in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch."

Caption: Dr Cheyne’s project steering group: Malcolm Thomas (Thomas Consulting), Associate Professor Christine Cheyne (Massey), Anne Redgrave (Horizons Regional Council), Dr Imran Muhammad, Dr Jonathan Godfrey, Liezel Bobadilla (Massey), Roger Boulter (Boulter Consulting), Phil Hendon, Dave Gennard, Emma Hardgrave (NZ Transport Agency).


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