An International Consultancy - Asia Pacific
The Asia-Pacific region is one of the fastest-developing in the world. With that development comes a host of challenges for transport planners to keep people and goods moving, while at the same time respecting the environment, local people and culture. We have project experience in a number of Asia-Pacific countries, where we’ve worked with local teams to meet local transport needs under a wide range of demanding conditions.
Meeting transport needs in the Philippines
ITP has a long working relationship with the Philippines, having completed a number of pioneering studies in both Manila and Cebu. Our involvement started in Cebu, where we undertook a ‘pre-feasibility’ study for bus rapid transit (BRT) for the city. This was followed by commissions to develop a public transport strategy for a major area of reclaimed land to the south of the city and a World Bank funded full BRT feasibility study.
The Cebu BRT feasibility study was underpinned by a comprehensive consultation exercise embracing all stakeholders and the public. Technical workstreams included passenger and revenue forecasting, preliminary engineering designs for all infrastructure, design of stations, terminals, interchange and depots and an ITS support system. We also undertook an appraisal of impacts (including greenhouse gas emission impacts) and a full economic appraisal in line with national guidance.
In parallel with the BRT feasibility study, we delivered two intelligent mobility demonstration projects in Cebu. In the first of these, we developed and demonstrated an open source smartphone application and a web-based administrative tool to gather and analyse taxi journey times around the city, providing ‘traffic probe’ data to improve long term transport planning decisions and prioritisation. In the second, we developed an open source civic engagement tool to enable the public to report infrastructure issues such as potholes to the city government.
Our first work in Manila involved undertaking an in-depth technical and financial review for the Asian Development Bank (ADB) of a privately-promoted BRT proposal linking the Makati and Taguig areas of Metro Manila. This was followed by a World Bank commission in which we undertook a corridor improvement project (CIP) study to look in detail at the potential role of BRT within a public transport hierarchy. This covered many of the issues considered in the Cebu BRT study.
Leading on from the CIP study, we undertook a large-scale ‘road transit rationalisation study’, looking at how public transport in Manila could be better organised to meet the patterns of demand. This included a massive data collection exercise to understand current transport supply and demand patterns, and building that data into a network model that could be used to examine future options.
ITP also led a ground-breaking project to build a general transit feed specification (GTFS) database in Manila, in order that service providers could develop open source software tools that feed off public transport (transit) information. This complex project involved assimilation and geospatial referencing of information from diverse sources, as well as developing value-added tools such as trip planners.
Better bus strategy in Australia
ITP was engaged by Noosa Council to undertake a comprehensive study to develop a public transport strategy for Noosa, a popular coastal town on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland. This involved demand forecasting and assessment of a wide range of issues including types of services (fixed and demand responsive), marketing and branding, information systems, payment systems (including smart cards), customer focus, and infrastructure. Our recommended strategy was highly commended by the client. As a follow-on, we were then appointed to develop a design for a new transit centre (interchange) that would serve future needs and fit well with the local “Noosa culture”.
BRT for Vietnam
ITP was appointed by the World Bank to develop detailed passenger forecasts, define BRT concepts and undertake financial and economic appraisal of a first BRT route for Ho Chi Minh City. The city has a very low public transport mode share but a very high level of motorcycle usage, which is unsustainable given current growth forecasts. The BRT concept we developed was targeted at accommodating the few existing bus users but also being attractive to motorcycle users within the BRT catchment area. As such, the study examined land use around BRT stations and terminals to encourage transit-orientated development.
Wuhan transport strategy, China
ITP and DLA were commissioned by Wuhan Planning and Design Institute to produce a concept masterplan and complementary transport strategy for the Innovation Model Zone in Wuhan, which has been designated as a pilot ‘resource saving and environmentally friendly’ city by China's State Council. We put forward a transport strategy that focussed on offering sustainable accessibility to support economic growth and social mobility, with an emphasis on promoting non-motorised modes. This included a public transport network vision, including mass transit to deliver a high quality, high capacity service from the outset. The importance of integration with key external connections was emphasised, including high speed rail, the airport, Wuhan CBD and the extension of the subway system. Our approach received high praise for putting the needs of people rather than cars at the heart of a fully integrated transport system.
Indian bus and BRT projects
Under the Jawaharal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JnNURM), the Government of India funded improvements to bus networks in 61 cities. This included purchase of new, cleaner, more user-friendly vehicles, and implementation of institutional and service reforms. ITP and IMaCS were appointed by the Ministry of Urban Development to undertake an evaluation of the programme, examining the changes in public transport network performance and user satisfaction, comparing the delivery of the program in the different cities, and making recommendations to further enhance public transport based on the lessons learned.
ITP was also appointed to act as an expert advisor on development of two BRT corridors in Delhi. Working with Capita Symonds, we provided best practice guidance from our experience in delivering BRT in developing countries, overall design review, and assistance in developing a bus operations plan.