EngD in ‘Transport and the Environment’ Using new technology to increase modal shift to buses

Start dates: (1 February 2013) and 26 September 2013

Closing date for applications:  15 July 2013

Both UK and EU transport policy currently recommends using ‘blended’ measures of often small scale transport initiatives to encourage modal shift away from private car use to more sustainable modes of transport. A key component of current transport policy is to provide individuals with ‘smarter choices’ which, in combination, will ‘nudge’ them to adopt more environmentally friendly modes.

The project will be working in conjunction with Hampshire County Council, Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council and Transport for South Hampshire to implement a package of ‘blended’ measures that collectively will raise the quality of bus travel and change perceptions of the bus to realise an 8% target increase in patronage, 5.6% increase in public transport mode share and 4205 fewer tonnes of carbon emitted.

Working with the four authorities and 4 bus operators in the region, this project will help implement and evaluate the mode change and environmental impacts resulting from a series of technical and behavioural implementations: i) Wi-Fi terminals fitted to 500 buses (83%) of the regions bus fleet ii) ‘Next stop’ displays and announcements across 500 buses iii) staff training and system marketing iv) dynamic bus information delivery through smartphone media and near field tagging at bus stops.

A project of this scale implementing a ‘blend’ of measures  across Hampshire offers a unique opportunity to study which combinations of approaches (hard and soft) contribute most to behavioural change, away from the car and towards public transport. The project would require a student with technical programming ability who would actively contribute to the dynamic travel information measures (particularly the smartphone app development). The outcomes would directly contribute to understanding how ‘blended measures’ policies could encourage travel behavioural change, and would allow other authorities to gauge which measures are most effective. 

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If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Tom Cherrett, Transportation Research Group, Email: T.J.Cherrett@soton.ac.uk,  Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 4657. 

This EngD project will be funded through the Industry Doctoral Training Centre (IDTC) http://www.southampton.ac.uk/idtc. The studentship comprises support from both EPRSC http://www.epsrc.ac.uk and an industrial sponsor. 

To be eligible students need to have UK status or be a European Union (EU) national who has been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the commencement of studies.

Enquiries: engd@soton.ac.uk 

411 – Civil and Structural Engineering; Computer Science; Design and Optimisation

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