PhD Researcher (Centre for Transport Research)
Dept. of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering
Keywords: Smarter travel options; reduced car dependency; behavioural changes; shared ownership; car sharing; carpooling; sustainability; active travel modes; transportation modelling.
In September 2015 Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Pascal Donohoe announced a seven-year (2016-2022) investment package of almost Euro10 billion to significantly boost the Irish government’s commitments to addressing the needs of an efficiency and modern transport system for the recovering and growing Irish economy.
This funding will be allocated to various projects in the Greater Dublin Area, such as the expansion of the Luas line to service the northern half of Dublin city and in this way connecting both lines (Luas Cross City), the unveiling of a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan, a new metro/tram line to Dublin airport (Metro North), as well as the ongoing success of Dublin City Council’s public-private partnership with JCDecaux in the backing of the ‘Dublin Bikes’ sharing scheme.
Transport has been earmarked for investment, as it is the Dept. of Transport’s aim to reduce the share of journeys to work by car to 45% and to ensure a 10% journey share by cycling by 2020 - thus resulting in a reduction in carbon emissions from transport.
The main vision of the Greening Transport project is to merge the technical evaluation of emissions from transport, and the improvements in their calculation, with the behavioural changes needed to realise these reductions in emissions. Behavioural change is a vital element in this study and through generating an understanding of it, we can predict how certain stimuli in society can lead to positive or negative outcomes for the population.
Accordingly, the application of behavioural constraints to technical emissions and transportation models will be examined. My research as part of this project will centre upon transportation modelling methods, the examination of smarter travel options to reduce emissions, measuring the impacts of fiscal changes on promoting sustainable car use and a study of behavioural changes as a result of: modal shifts, a reduction in private car-based transport and in an increase active travel modes.
The reliance on the private car in Ireland is unsustainable, growing car sales have reached saturation levels and peak car ownership is a serious problem for congestion, emissions levels and for the sustainability of the transport system. Therefore, overall goal in conducting this research is to investigate ways of shifting usage away from privately owned transport for commuting purposes, to ensure that more commuters use more sustainable transport modes (cycling, walking, public transport, car sharing and carpooling).
Project Supervisor: Associate Prof. Brian Caulfield