Analysis of public transport options for Adelaide’s Western suburbs

Author: Inderjit Singh

Singh, Inderjit, 2019 Analysis of public transport options for Adelaide’s Western suburbs, Flinders University, College of Science and Engineering

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Tram networks provide the opportunity to help provide advantages for the environment, the economy and reducing levels of traffic congestion in urban areas around the world. In South Australia, the Government has launched an Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan (ITLUP), which provides detail information about the future tram networks in Adelaide. AdeLINK is responsible for connecting the tram network in Adelaide and surrounding areas through the 30-year plan for Greater Adelaide (Government of South Australia, 2015). Future tram networks have been already suggested for connecting Adelaide communities i.e. WestLINK, EastLINK, Port LINK, Prospect LINK and Unley LINK (AdeLINK Multi-criteria analysis summary report). As a part of the tram, extension WestLINK is proposed to connect Adelaide Airport and in this research, a Tram network is proposed to connect West Beach with North Terrace and Adelaide Airport via Sir Donald Bradman Drive making a network stretch of 8.7Km. This tram network will help in reducing the emission of CO2, NOx, travel time and will increase the level of service with the more economic public transport system.

Autodesk’s Infraworks Mobility simulation software package is used in this whole analysis for the existing and proposed 9 future scenarios as software models. In this analysis, future models are prepared for a range of possible scenarios. An initial model is made in the Mobility Simulation to match real-life traffic conditions including traffic counts, lane geometry, signal phasing and, intersections. For all the signalized intersection traffic counts are provided by SCATS data, supplied by DPTI (SCATS, 2017) and for unsignalized intersections, data has been collected by manual surveys. The proposed Future Model 1 is designed with one sharing lane with tram service frequency of 15-min and future model 1a to 1d is performed with tram frequency 5-min with different proportions of people boarding tram as 5%, 15%, 4%, 0% to check the best suitable and realistic model for future. Future model 2 also has a shared lane with private vehicles and tram but the tram frequency changes from 5-min to 10-min and model 3 has fewer stops.

In the future model 4, trams are using one lane exclusively with a frequency of 5-min, without having any additional lane, however in model 5, private vehicles are allowed to use right lane inside CBD and at an intersection within 50m for making turns. Finally, Future model 6 has an additional lane for trams to provide serviceability for both trams and private vehicles but it needs an extra space for additional lanes, which makes this model expensive when compared to others.


After simulating all the 10 models, results indicate that Future Model 1 performed the best, among all other 9 models in all performance indicators. Comparing Future model 1 with Initial Model, Model 1shows a reduction of total cost by7.3% and reducing the CO2 and NOx emissions by 10.80% and 10.35% respectively. Most extensively, in the end, there is a great level of service compared to the existing model, most of the intersections are at LOS B, and the average vehicle speed increases by .35km/h which proves the tram network to be a less congested and most efficient mode of transport.

The performance of the Future Model 5 shows great performance in all aspects and closely matches the results of model 1 in terms of the total cost, average speed, CO2 and NOx emissions. The performance of the Model 4 is worst among all other models with a bad level of service and longer travel times. The future model 6 is an expensive option because it needs an additional lane and does not show significant improvements compared to other results.

Future Model 1 and 5, both provide significant reductions in total cost comparisons, average speed, level of service and the emission of CO2 and NOx, which shows that these models are fit for both an economic and environmental point of view. Both models show a reduction in travel times along the route from the beach to the city. However, for the final execution of future model 1, it is recommended that the right turn should be banned on some intersections and make a free travel zone within CBD, which will lure more passengers toward Adelaide Airport and West Beach.

Keywords: Transport Modelling, Microsimulation, Infraworks Mobility, Tram extenstion, Future model scenario.

Subject: Engineering thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2019
School: College of Science and Engineering
Supervisor: Branko Stazic