Business School


With high oil prices and sustainability concerns, the question is whether our dependence on oil will continue or whether substitute technologies and modes of transport will be adopted. The Energy Centre is currently engaged in the following projects.


Expectations are that there will be a significant increase in the flow of freight from regions south of Auckland and there is considerable doubt as to whether existing transport infrastructure is capable of meeting demand. The issue is complex because any study of this problem will raise issues over the location of the Port of Auckland, road and rail corridors, commuter traffic and attendant congestion, and environmental impacts. The Upper North Island Transport Study (UNITS) received funding in late 2009 to undertake a survey of the existing literature, identify gaps and write proposals for more detailed modelling and analysis. Three seminar presentations to stakeholders were made in 2009. The gap analysis will be presented to stakeholders in May 2010. Spatial econometric modelling work on urban form and transportation will continue into 2010.

Research team: Basil Sharp, Judith Wang.

Integrating air quality modelling with transport and land use planning

This research is part of a research project funded by Foundation for Research, Science and Technology (FRST) to National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) titled ‘Towards Sustainable Urban Form’. The planning models of the Auckland region will be explored with a view to develop an analysis framework to support spatial analysis of the impact of vehicle emissions. Our long-term goal is to integrate air pollution modelling and transport/land use planning to support policy analysis.

Research team: Judith Wang, Andrea Raith.

Cycle facility planning

This research is a continuation of a study titled "Applying biobjective shortest path methods to model cycle route choice". Two research projects are being carried out by final year students at the Department of Engineering Science. The project titles are:

  • Heuristics for the cyclist routing problem.
  • Selecting a portfolio of cycling projects.

Research team: Associate Professor Matthias Ehrgott, Andrea Raith, Judith Wang.

Econometric time series analysis on public transport patronage in Auckland

This research follows up on a project funded by NZTA titled "Appraisal of factors influencing public transport patronage". Econometric analysis on the public transport patronage data of the Auckland region collected over the last decade is performed with a view to develop a new approach to estimate the long-run and short-run elasticities of public transport patronage.

Research team: Judith Wang, Erwann Sbai.

Public transport patronage in New Zealand

This research follows up on "Determinants of public transport patronage by commuters in Auckland", expanding to analysis across time (time series) and possibly multiple cities (Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch). Another possible research expansion is in the area of how people in Auckland value "walkability", "reliability" and "busability" of different locations. Preliminary work has been completed by Tim Hazledine on measuring value using data on house prices.

Research team: Mark Greer, Tim Hazledine.

Determinants of bus ridership by commuters in Auckland

This project is a cooperative venture with the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA). Using a spatial econometric model it analyses the determinants of bus ridership in Auckland. Future research opportunities may arise with postgraduate students on Wellington and Christchurch.

Research team: Mark Greer, Bart van Campen