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Case Studies

This Universities TravelSmart Kit has been developed from a wide range of literature and examples of good practice at universities in Australia and overseas. In addition to the references to universities in each of the three stages of the kit, the following case studies are included for their particular strengths:

Other universities' practice has featured at particular points in this Resource Kit:

UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, VANCOUVER: a case study in involving others in TDM planning


The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a 402-hectare campus located on the outer western edge of the metropolitan region of Vancouver. The campus is isolated from the urban area by the Pacific Spirit Park which lies between UBC and Vancouver city (for an aerial photo see page 3 of OCP at

The University campus is the second largest trip generator in the Vancouver region, only surpassed by the Central Area of Vancouver City. In the late 1990s over 100,000 daily vehicle trips were made to and from the UBC campus. An expected increase in vehicle trips prompted the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD) to address transportation issues at the UBC campus (Mitchell 1999).

The overarching framework for development of the Greater Vancouver region is the Liveable Region Strategic Plan. In order to implement this plan within UBC, the Official Community Plan was developed by GVRD and adopted in 1997. The Official Community Plan requires that UBC "pursue a transportation demand management plan that will include...measures to reduce single occupant vehicle travel from 1996 levels by 20%" (Greater Vancouver Regional District Policy and Planning Department 2003:20).

In response to the Official Community Plan UBC began developing the UBC Strategic Transportation Plan to guide travel demand initiatives aimed at meeting the target of a 20% single occupant vehicle (SOV) reduction.

Consultation and Participation

The first steps at UBC included benchmarking traffic volumes in 1997 followed by the release to the University community of a 1998 'Issues and Options Paper'. In conjunction with the discussion paper release, a survey was emailed to 35,000 staff, faculty and students at the University. The email survey collected information on individual travel patterns and opinions regarding proposed transport initiatives. Input received from the initial process was combined with the results of a literature search to develop a discussion paper on the Issues and Priorities. Options for the proposed Strategic Plan were included and prioritised within the 'Options and Priorities Discussion Paper', released to the staff, faculty and students for comment in 1998 (Lovegrove 1998).

Four months after submissions closed on the 'Options and Priorities Discussion Paper', the UBC Transport Advisory Committee released a paper outlining the proposed stages for implementation of the Strategic Transportation Plan.

The Discussion Paper advocated a "pyramid of participation/consultation" as part of the critical steps to ensure success, in addition to identifying stakeholder groups and their areas of involvement in planning for transport changes (G-7 Subcommittee of the UBC Transportation Advisory Committee 1998). The STP would be developed in two stages - first a strategic section and then an action section, from which an implementation program would be developed (G-7 Subcommittee of the UBC Transportation Advisory Committee 1998). In November 1999 the UBC Strategic Transportation Plan (STP) was released.

Travel Management Success

In the four years since the release of the STP, there have been significant changes in the travel patterns of staff, faculty and students at the University. Most interesting has been the 56% increase in public transport trips, surpassing the GVRD 20% target (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002 p. i). This large change is attributed to changing class start times from 8.30 am to 8, 8.30 and 9 am thereby reducing the morning 'peak' (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002:2). Annual increases in bus service levels to UBC over the period of 1997 to 2002 also contributed to growth in ridership, with a total service expansion of 30%. The service improvements included routes with 'bikes on buses' and an express service between the University and Skytrain Station (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002:2).

Parking charges and supply reductions were also implemented in the four years, however, analysis of travel data indicate this has done little to reduce the proportion of travel by single occupant vehicles. 1,200 parking bays were removed and redeveloped for housing, in addition to daily parking price increases of $1.50 for some car parking areas (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002 pg. 2). Although there has been a decline of 9.2% in SOV travel since 1997 (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002:6), this is considerably less than the required 20% as set by the GVRD in the UBC Official Community Plan. The overall number of journeys made to and from the campus has also declined, by 7.7% (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002 pg. 6), despite a UBC population increase of 7,700 over the same time period (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2000:4 ).

Future action proposed to encourage more reduction in SOV travel includes introduction of a U-Pass program, predicted to further increase public transport ridership (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002). The Transportation Report Card indicates that the primary mechanism to reduce SOV trips is through future parking restriction and pricing increases (University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002:22). However clear actions are not indicated, and it appears the UBC Parking Department mandate to remain profitable - it functions as an independent financial entity - conflicts with the objectives of reducing car travel to the campus. However, there are many more successes to the program at UBC including bike pools, bike shops, bike paths, multi-modal travel and GO Green Coordinators. Many of the transport initiatives are undertaken by organisations not affiliated with the University including the Jack Bell Foundation. For further detail see the TREK web site at


G-7 Subcommittee of the UBC Transportation Advisory Committee 1998, Developing a UBC Strategic Transportation Plan: Discussion paper #3 - How to get there from here, Available: [] (July 29).

Greater Vancouver Regional District Policy and Planning Department 2003, Official Community Plan for Part of Electoral Area 'A' and GVRD-UBC Memorandum of Understanding, Available: [] (July 30).

Lovegrove, G. 1998, Developing A Strategic Transportation Plan for UBC: Discussion paper #2-options and priorities, Available: [] (July 29).

Mitchell, G. 1999, Cars, Campus and the Transportation Question: Critical analysis of the UBC TREK program's automobile and other transportation issues, Available: [] (July 29).

University of British Columbia and Trans Link 2002, UBC Campus Transit Plan: Transportation report card, Available: [] (July 24).

UNIVERSITY OF NEW SOUTH WALES, SYDNEY: a case study in overcoming information and transport barriers


The University of New South Wales Kensington campus is located some ten kilometres south of Sydney CBD in New South Wales (for a locational map see, and experiences peak hour congestion on the surrounding road network with poor pedestrian amenity and dangerous conditions for cyclists.

A transport information system was developed to better identify the transport needs of the University and the barriers inhibiting an effective transportation system. Barriers experienced at the University included overcrowding and long waiting times for travellers at the Central Railway Station interchange and a confusing disarray of ticketing and information for public transport users (Sharp & Lee 1998; Black, Mason & Stanley 1999).

Travel Management Success

Reducing passengers waiting times at the Central Station interchange was achieved using a simple queuing system that ensured passengers alighted buses efficiently and safely. The system's success was evident in reduced waiting times for patrons - from 39% of passengers waiting more than five minutes before implementation of the queuing system, to only 21% with queuing (Black, Mason & Stanley 1999 pg. 7). The queuing system required collaboration between UNSW and Sydney Buses, effecting an improvement in relations from the preceding two decades when UNSW had been ineffectual in achieving improvements for University travellers (Sharp & Lee 1998; Black, Mason & Stanley 1999).

Improving information availability to staff and students was the second hurdle, addressed with UNSW developing a brochure detailing "public transport routes, frequency of services, tickets, restricted parking and the value of walking for health" (Black, Mason & Stanley 1999 pg. 8). The brochure was made available at various locations commonly used by staff and students at the Kensington campus. Information for visitors attending conferences at the University is provided in pre-conference packs containing transport details and hotel ratings according to ease of access to the campus grounds (Black, Mason & Stanley 1999). Ongoing information strategies include the UNSW transport web site with a range up bus, bike and pedestrian information. contains information on UNSW Travel Demand Management.


Black, J., Mason, C. & Stanley, K. 1999, 'Travel Demand Management: Policy context and an application by the University of NSW as a large trip generator', Transport Engineering In Australia, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 1-11. Retrieved: 1999, from

Sharp, L. & Lee, A. 1998, 'A Proactive Approach To Transport Needs A Large Organisation.' in 22nd Australasian Transport Research Forum, Sydney, Australia.

UNIVERSITY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA, PERTH: a case study in precinct planning


The University of Western Australia (UWA) is located adjacent to the Swan River five kilometres from the Perth Central Area (Johnstone 1999). Within one kilometre north of the University is the Queen Elizabeth II Medical Centre (QEII) general and teaching hospital. Development of a precinct access plan for sustainable travel demand management was motivated by an anticipated future growth of 75,000 mainly car trips per day to the total precinct and associated demand for parking (Johnstone 1999:660-661).

Travel Management Success

The Access Plan proposed a number of initiatives for improving existing bus services, and establishing new infrastructure for pedestrian and cyclists in addition to a new ferry service. Management of car travel was to be addressed with strategies focussing on the pricing and availability of car parking. The proposal incorporated actions for marketing and promoting the plan (Johnstone 1999).

Since 1998 UWA has successfully implemented parking permit and fee increases, student car pooling, a policy for end-of-trip facility provision, more bike racks, a Bicycle Users Group and a program to encourage staff to cycle, supported by annual promotional events. Information has been improved through surveys of staff and student travel patterns. Access maps showing public transport and cycle routes are produced and distributed annually (University of Western Australia 2003).

The outcome has been a significant proportional shift in student travel from cars to public transport and walking, decreasing car travel by 19.7%, and increasing public transport by 7.2%, and walking by 12.2% (Johnstone 1999; University of Western Australia 2003). These changes are in line with targets expressed in the Metropolitan Transport Strategy 1995-2029 for the Perth Metropolitan Area. For an overview of the UWA-QEII Access Plan and proposed transport initiatives go to


Johnstone, P. 1999, 'A Real Access Plan For Real People: The University of WA and QEII medical centre precinct', in Australian Transport Research Forum, Western Australian Department of Transport, Perth, WA, pp. 654-668.

University of Western Australia 2003, UWA Transport Initiatives, Available: [] (June 10).