Jump to Content

Urban Transport Models: A Review

Publication Type:
Working Paper 39

Publication Subject(s):



Release Date:
October 1998

Transport models have been used for several decades now, both for research, and as an analytical tool to assist planners and decision-makers. As the complexity of traffic and environmental problems in our cities has increased, policy makers have come to depend on models to an even greater extent. The immense increase in available computing power over the last decade has abetted this dependence. Customised software has simplified even the most complex mathematics to such an extent that modelling is no longer the preserve of a select few ‘rocket scientists’. If asked, however, many policy analysts and decision-makers would probably admit to a lack of understanding of the models on the results of which they rely. Billions of dollars in resources are expended annually in Australia despite a lack of full understanding of the basis on which decisions are made. To assist both researchers and decision-makers, Dr William (Weiguo) Lu has dissected the major models that have been used to analyse urban transport tasks. This Working Paper therefore represents something of a ‘scene-setter’ for further work. While a purely non-technical approach is not feasible, he has sought to provide an intuitive exposition of the basic concepts involved, relying on a minimum of mathematical expression.