Archive of BTR3 Headline Speakers

image-2Professor Hani Mahmassani, our keynote speaker for BTR3, holds the William A. Patterson Distinguished Chair in Transportation at Northwestern University, where he is Director of the Northwestern University Transportation Center, and Director of the US-DOT Center of Excellence on Telemobility.  He has over 35 years of research experience in the areas of ITS, freight and logistics systems, multimodal systems, pedestrian and crowd dynamics, traffic science, demand forecasting and travel behavior, and real-time operation of transportation systems. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2021 “for contributions to modeling of intelligent transportation networks and to interdisciplinary collaboration in transportation engineering”.

Telemobility, System Resilience, and the Next Normal
(10 am to 11 am Central US time, Thursday, August 5)

Hani’s Presentation Slides

The conduct of economic and social activities through information and communication technologies enabled the world to continue functioning under an unprecedented pandemic-induced disruption in normal activity and physical mobility patterns. Virtual engagement enabled work, school, entertainment, medicine and commerce to continue for extended periods no analyst would have a priori predicted to be possible. Telemobility proved to be the primary mechanism for the resilience of our social and economic activity networks. We provide a synthesis of lessons learned as well as insights gained from ongoing research through our DOT Center on Telemobility, with the aim of informing the role that telemobility is likely to continue to play under the emerging “next normal”– along with implications for transportation and urban mobility patterns.

Professor David Hensher is Founding Director of the Institute of Transport and Logistics Studies at The University of Sydney; a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences; recipient of the 2009 IATBR Lifetime Achievement Award; the 2006 Engineers Australia Transport Medal; the Smart 2013 Premier Award for Excellence in Supply Chain Management; the 2014 Institute of Transportation Engineers (Australia and New Zealand) Transport Profession Award; and the 2019 John Shaw Medal which honors an industry champion who has made a lasting contribution to Australia’s roads. In 2021 an annual prize was established and named in honour of David for best paper in transport demand modelling at the ATRF.

The Impact of Working from Home on Modal Commuting Choice Response during COVID-19: Implications for Two Metropolitan Areas in Australia
(11 am to Noon Australia Eastern Time, Friday, August 6)

David’s Presentation Slides

The need to recognize and account for the influence of working from home (WFH) on commuting activity has never been so real as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has become a positive unintended consequence of the pandemic. Not only does this change the performance of the transport network, it also means that the way in which transport modelers and planners use models estimated on a typical weekday of travel and expand it up to the week and the year must be questioned and appropriately revised to adjust for the quantum of working from home. In this talk I provide some descriptive overviews of WFH and commuting activity in late 2020 and mid 2021 in Australia, and illustrate how this is used in revising the commuting mode and time of day model to recognize the legitimate alternative choice of WFH. We conclude with some comments on the policy implications of WFH going forward.

image-6Professor Becky P.Y. Loo’s core research interests are transportation, smart technologies and cities. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and the Founding Co-Editor-in-Chief of Travel Behaviour and Society. From 2017 to 2020, she served as the first female Head of the Department of Geography since its establishment at HKU in 1931. She is currently the Director of the Institute of Transport Studies, Founding Co-Director of the Joint Laboratory on Future Cities, and the Programme Director of the Master of Arts in Transport Policy and Planning, HKU. In 2016, she was awarded the Pegasus Medal by CILT International. Becky has been appointed a Justice of the Peace (JP) by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

Transport in Compact Cities: The “New Normal”
(11 am to Noon Australia Eastern Time, Thursday, August 5)

Becky’s Presentation Slides

Compact cities are characterized by the high density and diversity of activities within city boundaries, as well as high connectivity with the rest of the world. Hence, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to transport in compact cities. In this presentation, I shall put various transport challenges against a paradigm shift that emphasizes people, place, resilience, and sustainability. Based on some preliminary observations and survey findings, questions about the future of public transport, compact urban form, overnight travels, and public health are explored. It is suggested that more research into the new opportunities brought about by the “new normal” is imperative. Moreover, wider applications of the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, and various smart city initiatives are necessary to better understand and support transport in compact cities.

image-7Professor Donald Shoup is Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Urban Planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. His research has focused on how parking policies affect cities, the economy, and the environment. In his books he details the simplest, cheapest, and fastest way to improve city life, protect the environment, and promote social justice. Shoup is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and an Honorary Professor at the Beijing Transportation Research Center. The American Planning Association gave Shoup its National Excellence Award for a Planning Pioneer, and the American Collegiate Schools of Planning gave him its Distinguished Educator Award.

The High Cost of Free Parking in Paradise
(10 am to 11 am Central US Time, Friday, August 6)

Donald’s Presentation Slides

In The High Cost of Free Parking, Donald Shoup recommended that cities should (1) charge fair market prices for on-street parking, (2) spend the revenue to improve public services in the metered neighborhoods, and (3) remove off-street parking requirements. In this lecture, Shoup will focus how off-street parking requirements subsidize cars, increase traffic congestion, pollute the air, encourage sprawl, increase housing costs, degrade urban design, prevent walkability, damage the economy, and penalize people who cannot afford a car. Parking requirements in zoning ordinances are poisoning cities with too much parking. Shoup argues that a new model of market-priced curb parking and improved public services will make the old model of free curb parking, high off-street parking requirements, and poor public services obsolete.

image-10Professor Mark Hickman is the Transport Academic Partnership (TAP) Chair and Professor of Transport Engineering within the School of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland. He is also the director of the Transport and Population Research Network, a network to coordinate transport and population research activities across several schools and faculties at UQ. Prof Hickman teaches and conducts research in public transit planning and operations, travel demand modelling, transport data analytics, and traffic engineering.

Thinking about the Transit Customer: What Service Improvements Drive Satisfaction?
(4 pm to 5 pm Australia Eastern Time, Friday, August 6)

Mark’s Presentation Slides

Managers of public transport services face the continual challenge of meeting customer service expectations. In many cases, this leads to a focus on service delivery, such as ensuring services run to schedule or minimizing the impacts of service disruptions. On the other hand, many transport providers also measure customer satisfaction, commonly derived through surveys of public transport passengers. These measures of customer satisfaction often are not directly related to the operational performance, although one might argue these are two sides of the same coin. Perhaps there is a way to better align the performance metrics associated with service delivery with what customers really value? In a recent project with Translink, the public transport authority for South East Queensland in Australia, we explored empirical relationships between customer satisfaction, as measured through a customer experience survey, and objective network performance measures, measured through detailed passenger journey and bus trip data. By combining these two data sources for recent passenger trips, we identified those factors most important to passengers, such as travel time reliability, adherence to schedule, and crowding on board. Using these findings, we are able to identify improvements in objective measures that will most likely lead to greater passenger satisfaction. We also conducted a detailed review of the disaggregate data to identify specific route-level improvements.

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