This project reviewed international best practices and trends in the provision of high-priority, transformative initiatives to tackle the mobility challenges facing suburban communities. It investigated travel demand drivers and determinants of possible shifts in travel behaviour, undertake sustainable transport planning studies focusing on pathways to increasing customer usage of public and active transport, and model the impacts and benefits of networked smart bus systems, on demand access to transport and emerging disruptive transport technologies. The project also developed a framework for supporting effective investment decisions that increase the uptake of low carbon transport interventions.

Research Projects

  • Greening urban and suburban travel minus-thick plus-thick

    AuthorsDr Sekhar Somenahalli, Hussein Dia, Stephen Cook and John Stone
    Report: Greening Urban and Suburban Travel - Final Report  [PDF 4.1MB]

    This project was a delivered as result of an extensive collaboration which involved CRC research providers and key end users, stakeholders and partners. The project included a collaborative engagement between researchers and students from Swinburne University of Technology, University of South Australia, University of Melbourne and CSIRO, who worked together with a key industry partner, the Government of South Australia, to deliver the project outcomes.

    The overarching objective of this research was to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from passenger car usage in urban and suburban areas. Transport activity is one of the major sources of emissions related to the combustion of fossil fuels in Australia. In 2010, transport contributed 83.2 Mt CO2 or 15.3% of Australia’s net emissions with road transport accounting for 71.5 Mt CO2 or 86% of national transport emissions. Passenger car usage in urban areas was the largest transport source, contributing 8.5% of Australia’s net emissions and accounting for around 39.7 Mt CO2.

    UniSA Video
  • Improving public transport interchanges minus-thick plus-thick

    AuthorsDr Sekhar SomenahalliDr Li MengMrs Mona Mosallanijad and Dr Stephen Berry
    Report:Improving the connection efficiency of existing public transport interchanges - Final Report[PDF 4.1MB]

    Public transport interchanges facilitate transfers between a wide range of motorised and non-motorised transport modes, allowing users to move from feeder modes such as walking, cycling, private vehicles and local feeder buses to rapid transit, high volume modes such as heavy rail, light rail and busways. The efficiency of this transfer, and the size of the catchment, impact the effectiveness of the broader transport network.

    This research considers various aspects of the role of public transport interchanges in improving public transport patronage, and lowering mobility related greenhouse gas emissions. It also analysed MetroCard data to extract OD pattern of people using the feeder buses and draws conclusions and informs policies regarding effectiveness of the interchange and types of interchange.

    The results of the research can also inform the design of interfaces to make them more convenient and attractive to users.

  • Shifting from car ownership to car usership minus-thick plus-thick

    Authors: Associate Professor Anne Sharp, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science, Dr Sandra Davison
    Report:  Shifting from Car Ownership to Car Usership [PDF 7MB]

    This research takes a in-depth look at the relationship people have with cars and their willingness to move away from a relationship of personal ownership. The research involved respondents across a range of car ownership situations including:

    • Car owners who do not use other transport
    • Car owners who sometimes use other transport but who still rely heavily on their cars
    • Car owners who recently started using other transport
    • People who have moved away from car ownership

    Car ownership seems to be a habitual behaviour and an assumed activity. It typically follows on from the experience people have grown up with, and becomes an expected behaviour. Disruptions to this ownership path are rare and not triggered from an evaluation of the ownership but rather external event which bring it into the consideration set (leasing a car for work, or moving to the CBD) or forces it (moving to a home with no parking).

    This research looked at a scenario where inner-city living meant a car was not needed and when the business leasing model was taken into the private context. In both instances, the behaviour happened and then positive attitudes to not owning a car formed after the event. This follows the pattern of what we know about how attitudes typically describe past behavior better than predict future and therefore are seen to follow behavior change.

  • Greening inner-urban travel minus-thick plus-thick

    The universal uptake of smart devices (smart phones, tablets, etc) has enabled a paradigm shift in our ability to order food, buy clothes, book tickets, search for services and even share assets. At breathtaking speed in so many cities we can use GPS locators to find the nearest Uber vehicle, share bike or share car, completely changing our access to mobility services.

    With transport as one of the key challenges to the carbon impact of cities, the Greening Inner-urban Travel research program investigated the role sharing economy mobility services in reducing inner-urban transport emissions and our reliance on private vehicle use.

    Sharing economy mobility services include:

    • share bikes
    • share cars
    • eco-caddies, and
    • Uber

    With many cities choking with vehicle traffic, it is expected that reducing our reliance on private vehicles will alleviate congestion and noise, reduce the need for car parking places and improve air quality. Sharing economy mobility services are now commonplace in Europe, USA, Asia and now Australia.

    Using Adelaide as a case study, the research investigated trips that are generated within the Carbon Neutral Adelaide calculation boundary (City of Adelaide and North Adelaide), rather than those trips that are generated in suburbia.

    Researchers considered the barriers and drivers to providing transport share schemes as well as user participation and their interaction with these services.

    The Greening Inner-urban Travel research program has been designed in response to, and with the support of, the SA Government, the Adelaide City Council and local industry. This program will develop the evidence base necessary to facilitate the transition to lower transport carbon emissions in inner-urban precincts.

    The University of South Australia’s research partners for this study program are:

    • South Australian Government
    • Adelaide City Council
    • Swinburne University
    • GoGet Car Share
    • AECOM
    • EcoCaddy
    • Bicycle SA
    • Conservation Council of SA
  • Greening inner-urban travel with sharing economy mobility services minus-thick plus-thick

    Project Leader: Dr Stephen Berry
    Project Partner: Government of South Australia, Adelaide City Council

    Transport has a large and growing impact on urban carbon emissions. The Carbon Neutral Adelaide consultation paper noted that transport is the second largest contributor of operational greenhouse gas emissions in the CBD, accounting for between 35-40% of the total carbon impact. In particular, passenger vehicles are estimated to contribute to over 95% of the total transport emissions. To achieve the policy outcome, it is important that mobility services that transport people and goods to and within the Adelaide City Council area, meet the needs of a dynamic economy but with a lower carbon impact.

    This project will investigate the role sharing economy mobility services can play in supporting a transformation towards a low carbon city, exploring the use of share bikes, share cars, Uber and Ecocaddies. The research will map the potential market and identify barriers to greater uptake of the sharing economy.

    The Greening Inner-urban Travel research program is divided into four work packages:

    Work Package 1: Barriers to the provision of sharing economy mobility services

    Task LeaderDr Sekhar Somenahalli
    Research AssistantDr Li Meng
    Reports: Barriers to the provision of shared mobility services [PDF 1.5MB]
                      Improving the connection efficiency of existing public transport interchanges [PDF 4.2MB]

    This work package focussed on:

    • the barriers and enablers in adopting transport share services
    • bridging the first- and last-mile connectivity gap to public transit systems
    • integration with the existing transport infrastructure
    • provision of supporting infrastructure to encourage the uptake of sharing services such as the development of electric vehicle charging stations
    • regulatory, legal and policy development around sharing economy mobility services

    First- and last-mile connectivity gap

    The first- and last-mile connection describes the beginning or end of an individual trip which has been made primarily by public transportation.  Many people will walk to catch public transport if it is close enough, however in many cases public transport is difficult, inconvenient or impossible to access on foot.

    This study investigated whether sharing economy mobility services can help bridge the gap to an accessible public transport network.  An efficient sharing economy can extend the catchment area of public transportation, encouraging multimodality for first- and last-mile trips rather than private vehicle travel.  Shared mobility has the ability to provide an alternative to feeder bus services and car parking.

    Work Package 2: Servicing the needs of major trip generators

    Task Leader: Dr Andrew Allan
    Research Assistant: Dr Ali Soltani
    Reports: Servicing the needs of Major Inner-urban Trip Generators [PDF 8.9MB]

    This work package aims to determine the benefits associated with the provision of sharing economy mobility services in Australian cities their role in meeting the needs of different types of major trip generators.

    Particular events and activity types are major trip generators and have a disproportionate impact on inner-urban mobility demand. Within the Carbon Neutral Adelaide district, major trip generators include:

    • hospitals
    • retail areas
    • universities
    • hotels
    • high density residential precincts
    • the Adelaide Convention centre
    • the business district
    • festivals
    • sporting events
    • restaurant strips

    Work Package 3: Mapping demand for sharing economy mobility services

    Task Leader: Associate Professor Anne Sharp, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science
    Research Assistant: Dr Sandra Davison, Business 
    Report: Demand for Sharing Economy Mobility Services [PDF 1.8MB]
                   Shifting from Car Ownership to Car Usership [PDF 7MB]

    This package maps how future mobility and demand will be shaped as share car and bike schemes continue to grow in the mainstream market, producing a new generation of sharing literate consumers. It will also look at spill-over categories that will benefit from increased mobility sharing.

    With the rise in both bike and car share offerings and the current low adoption levels, comes the need to understand the new patterns of consumer behaviour.

    This study addresses the following questions:

    • How do share mobility innovations diffuse through the population?
    • Who are the early adopters?
    • How can the market be meaningfully segmented?
    • What are the triggers and barriers to consumers entering the share mobility market?
    • What messages are needed to encourage trial and reduce perceived risk?
    • How can shared mobility options transform choices in the inner city precinct where commutes are shorter and speeds slower relative to a suburban setting?

    Work Package 4: Estimating the GHG Emission Impact

    Task Leader: Professor John Boland, S.T.E.M
    Research Assistant: Charles Ling, S.T.E.M
    Report: Estimating the GHG Emission Impact from Sharing Economy Mobility Services [PDF 7MB]

    This work package will draw on the findings from work packages 1, 2 & 3 to quantify the carbon abatement potential due to greater commercial provision and user participation in sharing economy mobility services.  The Carbon Neutral Adelaide region will be used as a case study to highlight the abatement potential for other similar inner-urban regions.


    Dr Andrew Allan

    UniSA Video

    Professor Anne Sharp

    UniSA Video

    Dr Sandra Davidson

    UniSA Video
  • Children’s everyday mobilities and low carbon living minus-thick plus-thick

    Research Student: Hulya Gilbert
    Supervisors: Dr Andrew Allan, Dr Johannes PietersDr Stephen Berry
    Associate Supervisor: Prof Carolyn Whitzman
    Project Partner: Renewal SA
    Project Fact Sheet: [PDF 6.8MB]

    Child-related car journeys are typically double that of journeys to work, and are rapidly growing with substantial negative health and carbon emission impacts. Framing low carbon living developments through the perspective of children’s daily lives, this project developed planning strategies to create precincts which are conducive to walking, cycling, and playing – precincts that are purposely child-friendly. The project provides the evidence base to improve precinct assessment tools and state planning instruments, leading to reduced private car use for education and childcare purposes, and associated carbon emission abatement.

    Gilbert, H., Whitzman, C., Pieters, J., & Allan, A. Journal of Transport Geography (2018). Children's everyday freedoms: Local government policies on children and sustainable mobility in two Australian states. 71, 116-129.

    Gilbert, H., Whitzman, C., Pieters, J., & Allan, A. Australian Planner (2018). Children and sustainable mobility: small feet making smaller carbon footprints. 1-8.

    Gilbert, H., Pieters, J., & Allan, A. (2018). Families, children and car: the environmental cost of chauffeuring children. Paper presented at the Australasian Transport Research Forum 30 October-1 November 2018, Darwin.

    Gilbert, H., Pieters, J., & Allan, A. (2017). Unlocking the social and environmental benefits of child friendly places through active travel and active play. Paper presented at the State of Australian Cities Conference 28–30 November 2017, Adelaide.

    UniSA Video