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Management of Transport Supply & Demand (CIV5035Z)

Course convenor: Prof Roger Behrens (Department of Civil Engineering)

Motivation for the course

Conventionally the urban transport problem has been framed as one of overcoming road congestion and the first post-war response of transport planners to address this problem was to increase road capacity. Recent empirical evidence, which suggests that increasing road capacity alone will not solve the problem of urban road congestion, has helped to focus the attentions of transport planners on managing transport systems, as an alternative to infrastructure construction. Thus a second ‘wave’ of responses to the urban transport problem, which still continues to this day, is that of ‘transport systems management’ (TSM). TSM is the name given to a range of tools, from traffic management to intelligent transport systems, which aim to enhance the capacity of the existing network, without major infrastructural expenditure. This approach has also been criticised on the grounds that only expanding capacity, even if major expense is not required, is simply delaying, rather than alleviating, inevitable transport problems. Over recent decades there has been increasing interest in a third ‘wave’ of responses to the urban transport problem, that is ‘travel demand management’ (TDM) which aims to reduce the demand for travel, especially vehicle travel, through voluntary, regulatory or pricing mechanisms. A fourth ‘wave’ of transport planning responses can be described as the integrated or package approach, whereby both new infrastructure, TSM and TDM are brought together in order to address the urban transport problem more holistically.

This course traces and explains the move from transport intervention as road construction for alleviating road congestion to transport intervention as a package of management measures, with many aims. It considers alternative transport supply and demand management interventions, reviews the experience of these interventions in practice, and investigates their relevance to South Africa and other developing world contexts.

Course objectives
The objective of this course is to provide students with an understanding of the legislative, policy and institutional context within which the management of transport systems takes place, the range of management measures available, and the objectives of transport supply and demand management. Through group work and input from a range of experts, students are exposed to issues in the application of management measures and current developments in the field both locally and internationally.

Course structure and content
The course comprises four phases:

  • a pre-contact period of five weeks, involving some 30-40 hours of preparatory reading and assignment;
  • a week of intensive contact time at UCT, comprising 40-50 hours of formal lectures and class assignments;
  • a two-hour course test (on the Monday following the contact week), intended to evaluate students’ understanding of selected aspects of the material they have been exposed to during the contact week, and
  • a post-contact period of seven weeks, involving an assignment or assignments requiring about 100 hours of work.

The material presented during the contact period is structured around the following broadly sequential themes or topics:

Context of transport management:

  • the development of transport management approaches; organisational and legislative frameworks for transport management; theoretical perspectives on travel choice, behavioural change and traffic flow

Road network management:

  • transport impact assessment; access management

Road space management:

  • public transport prioritisation; case studies; road capacity change and induced and suppressed traffic phenomena

Transport system management:

  • intersection redesign; urban traffic control; intelligent transport systems

Travel demand management:

  • voluntary measures; regulatory measures; pricing measures; case studies

Formal presentations on these topics by both Programme staff and invited external specialists are interspersed with work on a group assignment, the product of which is presented and discussed on the last day of the course.

Readings for the preparatory assignment are issued about five weeks prior to the commencement of the contact period. Additional readings may be issued during the contact week or subsequently through the Vula on-line course worksite, together with the brief for the major post-contact phase assignment.

Contact week attendance
Students are expected to attend the contact week on a full-time basis, which will require them to be resident in Cape Town for its duration given that the daily timetable during this period will generally occupy the hours from 08h00 to 17h00. Attendance for the entire contact period is a requirement, and students who are absent for more than 20% of the contact period duration will not be allowed to complete the course.

Learning outcomes
Students who have completed the course successfully should:

  • be familiar with the intentions of the current legislative and policy framework for transport management in South Africa;
  • understand the components of different transport management processes applied over time, and be able the identify the objectives of these processes;
  • be able to identify the implications changed policy environments have for transport management practices; and
  • be able to undertake preliminary transport management design for an urban transport corridor in South Africa to the conceptual planning stage, drawing on the lessons of experience elsewhere.

The aggregate mark for this course is compiled as follows:

minor assignment based on preparatory reading 15%
group contact week assignment 10%
major post-contact phase assignment 50%
course test 25%

Students who do not obtain an aggregate mark of at least 50% for their preparatory assignment, course test and post-contact phase assignment will be deemed to have failed the course.