Transport Economics

About the Transport economics team

The transport economics team works with engineers, scientists and other transport professionals to undertake both research and consulting projects focusing on the following:

  • transport demand modelling and forecasting
  • project evaluation and risk assessment
  • road pricing and the cost of congestion
  • freight and logistics analysis
  • transport policy analysis and integrated planning
  • transport externalities analysis related to environmental, social and safety aspects.

Our economics team is experienced in areas including:

  • economic evaluation of transport infrastructure and services projects/programs and strategies
  • road pricing principles and analysis
  • inter‑modal issues, relative costs, market shares and competition pricing analysis
  • transport and environmental policy analysis
  • transport infrastructure financing and pricing
  • transport energy demand analysis
  • freight demand modelling and forecasting
  • road transport planning and policy
  • development of tools and techniques to provide solutions to a range of transport issues.
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Evaluation projects

Examples of recent evaluation projects:

  • Guide to Project Evaluation – this Austroads Guide provides an eight part series of guidelines, tools and techniques for use in the evaluation of projects.
  • Improving methodologies for targeting investment in transport (e.g. roads and road transport in the logistics chain; quantitative measurement of risk in road user cost models).
  • Determining the likely benefits and impacts of accelerating pavement and bridge rehabilitation programs.
  • Economic evaluation of road investment proposals – improved prediction models for road crash savings; to describe the development of improved models for predicting the effect of proposals for investment in road infrastructure.
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Congestion and road pricing projects

Examples of recent congestion and road pricing projects include:

  • Review of recent developments in road pricing including freight, Phase I: Key issues and experience, and Phase II: Possible applicability of road pricing in Australasia.
  • Defining transport congestion – involved a review of engineering and economic definitions of transport congestion, including an investigation of the optimal level of congestion and a recommended definition of congestion for the 2006 Victorian Competition and Efficiency Commission Inquiry into congestion.
  • Advice on road pricing mechanisms, technology and case studies for the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance and the Department of Infrastructure. Advice on road pricing and travel demand e.g. estimating efficient tolls, demand changes, toll revenue, benefit and other parameters.


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Valuing environmental externalities and impacts projects

Examples of recent valuing environmental externalities and impacts projects include:

  • A climate change framework developed for the needs of road agencies.
    External costs of transport and valuing environmental and other externalities e.g. provision of unit values for a broad range of externality costs (for example, noise, air pollution and climate change) and for different vehicle types (cars, light commercial vehicles and heavy vehicles).
  • Impact of incentives and disincentive programs on passenger transport and efficient vehicle use: improvements to the environmental performance of the transport sector.
  • Analysis of the impact of the ANTS tax package (GST) on road and rail passenger and freight transport, transport related industries and aggregate sales, production and employment.
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Freight studies

Examples of recent freight studies include:

  • Investigation of freight planning methodologies and data requirements: to establish the feasibility of a modelling and analytical capacity for strategic planning of freight movements in urban areas.
  • Planning for Urban Freight: a best practice guide for planners and traffic engineers to deal with planning issues associated with development projects that will affect freight movements.
  • Estimation of urban road user costs and freight delay costs: development of comprehensive evaluation methods for urban road networks.
    Freight demand analyses and forecasting.
  • Development of improved analytical tools to assist road agencies and policy analysts to assess the economic impacts of performance based standards (PBS) for heavy vehicles.
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