New research project getting personal with transport

6 May 2013

Macquarie University, with partners from the City of Ryde and Transport for NSW has launched a new research project trialing the use of ‘personal mobility devices’ (PMDs) on the University’s campus.

The trial will investigate how effective PMDs are for short distance trips and to transfer between transport modes as a potential solution to traffic congestion.

Lead researcher Professor Robyn Dowling, said the study will document the social and infrastructure impacts of using PMDs as a transport option though urban precinct. In addition, the trial will help show how to best integrate PMDs into existing transport infrastructure.

“We want the findings from this study to show if PMDs could be considered as a valid transport mode on a large scale,” Professor Dowling, Macquarie University.

The trial will see up to 24 participants taking part in the world-first PMD pilot study

“Research shows that the social, economic and environmental costs of short trips are significant.

We want to see if PMDs can offer a low cost solution that allows the user to travel short distances quickly and flexibly,” says Professor Dowling.

This project is the result of a unique collaboration between university researchers, local and state government. It is hoped that this project will help provide alternative transport methods to address traffic congestion in the area.

Ryde Council’s Acting General Manager, Danielle Dickson, said:  “The City of Ryde has its fair share of traffic congestion and we believe that PMDs may be part of a solution to easing congestion, particularly as they relate to reducing the level of car usage for short local trips.

“This trial with Macquarie University and Transport for NSW provides a perfect opportunity to test this theory and better understand the challenges involved in doing so.

“Macquarie University is once again showing its willingness to innovate and work in partnership with the City of Ryde to demonstrate that Macquarie Park is a smart and connected place.”

Transport for NSW is supporting this project to see if the results indicate PMDs are a valid and alternative transportation mode that can help ease congestion.

It is expected that the results of the trial will inform the development of options that will help relieve traffic congestion across the Ryde community and potentially in other areas across Sydney and New South Wales.

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