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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

TRAN5181M Public Transport Planning and Management

15 creditsClass Size: 75

Module manager: Daniel Johnson

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

To ensure that students have a sound understanding of the key issues affecting the planning, management and financing of public transport in developed and developing countries.


- To ensure that students are able to apply the underlying operating and economic principles in order to develop solutions to various PT problems such as forecasting, scheduling, network design and project evaluation.

- To ensure that students understand the multi-dimensional role of public transport within a multi-modal transport planning system.

Learning outcomes
- Understanding of the key issues affecting the demand, cost, planning and management of public transport
- Demonstration of practical public transport economic and operational modeling skills to develop solutions to various real-world problems
- Discussion of the multi-dimensional role of public transport within a mixed-mode transport planning system

Skills outcomes
Planning the scheduling of public transport operations, demand forecasting, cost modelling, pricing policies and principles behind regulation and privatisation.


The module consists of 9 lectures, a demand forecasting workshop, a visit to/from Metro and a revision class.

Lectures will be based around the following themes:

1. Introduction to public transport, technology
2. Predicting demand for PT
3. Public transport pricing and fare systems
4. Costing of public transport
5. Procurement of Public Transport
6. Public transport network design and operation
7. Designing and Operating Rail Systems
8. Driver scheduling
9. Informal Public Transport and MaaS
10. Revision lecture/class

Revised lecture content will include:
Driver scheduling session with additional workshop
Informal public transport and MaaS - replaces BRT session. Introduces material from developing countries and has more interactive/group work elements than previously. BRT is touched on in a number of other sessions rather than as a topic in itself.

Demand and cost modelling workshop

One session will be a tutorial/workshop based on demand forecasting using bespoke computer software. Students will be introduced to the software and work together in groups on a number of exercises based on forecasting the impact of fares, service levels and external factors on rail demand.

One session will be a seminar based at METRO and will take the form of presentations by METRO staff on a number of recent policy related issues. There will then be a group based exercise where students will discuss their views on some key local transport schemes in more depth and present their findings.

Students are expected to be able to carry out simple calculations as before using spreadsheets.

The coursework involves the production of an individual piece of written work for assessment based on developing a strategy for an urban public transport corridor.

The aims of this exercise and coursework are:

- to apply and develop understanding of some of the economic and operational principles from the lectures;
- to develop ideas in a piece of written coursework.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours121.00
Total Contact hours29.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students will be required to read around the subject including recommended texts, journal articles and weblinks.

There will also be independent learning involved in the coursework which involves developing a spreadsheet based solution to a demand forecasting exercise and an assessment of the wider benefits associated with PT investment

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Progress will be monitored informally through seminar discussion and problem sets, and formally through the coursework to be submitted during the course of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report1000 word project report + Excel model50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)50.00

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

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Online Time-Limited assessment2 hr 00 mins50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)50.00

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: 02/11/2023 11:05:46


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