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2016/17 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN3031 Public Transport Policy and Practice

10 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dan Johnson

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

'Improving public transport' is often suggested as the way to get people out of their cars and to solve transport's environmental problems. But is this true and, if so, how can we make public transport better?This module will help you figure out why public transport has been in a vicious circle of decline for several decades and how we may be able to reverse this trend. You'll understand how consultants are able to predict costs and demand for new public transport systems and why they're often so spectacularly wrong. You'll learn how public transport has helped shape our cities and hear all about ground breaking systems such as the London Underground. And by the way, why do buses always come in 3's?Key themes are introduced in lectures while the coursework will provide the opportunity for you to work in a group to explore a specific problem in more detail and to look at cutting edge case studies from around the world. You will then have the opportunity to discuss your conclusions with the rest of the class during student-led seminars.By the end of this module, you should be able to decide for yourself whether what Leeds really needs is a Supertram, more guided busways or a just a comprehensive free public transport system. And whatever solution you advocate you'll hopefully be able to estimate its cost and show how that's a small price to pay in the long term.


After completing this module, students should have an understanding of the structure and workings of the public transport industry, and the role of modern techniques in the planning, provision and marketing of public transport. They will be able to critically appraise alternative.
approaches to public transport provision at both national and local level, including ownership, organisational and regulatory issues, fares policies and service provision.

Skills outcomes
- critical appraisal of policy
- working as a group
- preparation and delivery of a presentation


Public transport history milestones
The roles and characteristics of public transport modes
Public transport policy in the UK
- The role of government, local authorities and Passenger Transport Executives
- Local Transport Planning
- Privatization and deregulation: experience in bus and rail
Understanding and estimating public transport demand
Designing and operating public transport systems
Passenger information and marketing
Paying for public transport
- Costs, fares and investment appraisal

Student-led seminars with recent topics having included: bus versus tram, public transport and land use planning, free fares, integrated networks, privatization versus deregulation.

Case study - The development and implementation of public transport policy in Leeds.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

15 hours - Seminar reading
45 hours - Background reading
18 hours - Revision

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Monitoring of progress is through group presentations.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Group ProjectStudent led seminar10.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)10.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins90.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)90.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/06/2016


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