PhD Scholarship in Behavioural Modelling for Public Transport

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 02 Jan 2023

Are you interested in urban transport and how this can be planned more sustainably to the benefit of the users and society? Are you keen on analysing travel behaviour and user preferences? And do you have a background in transport, behavioural economics, data science, mathematical modelling or related fields? Then this PhD position might be right for you. At DTU Management we are looking for excellent PhD applicants for our new research project “Integrating behaviour modelling with operations research for user-driven public transport network design” (INTRAURBAN) funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark (Det Frie Forskningsråd), with employment starting during Spring 2023, with exact starting date to be agreed upon. 

Road congestion in urban areas and transport emissions are rapidly increasing, despite the focus on delivering more sustainable transport. While public transport is more sustainable and space-efficient than car transport, its usage has been decreasing in many cities worldwide – even before the pandemic. To achieve a mode shift to public transport more insights on heterogenous user behaviour and preferences are needed. Analysing large empirical data with the purpose of extracting how public transport can be more attractive is the overall focus of this PhD study.

Specifically, the study aims at revealing behavioural drivers through using a combination of innovative big data sources containing passengers’ revealed preferences focusing on the full door-to-door travel. The data sources include travel survey data, satisfaction surveys, data on urban characteristics and stations, and Rejsekort data, which is a big data source that include revealed route choices of passengers. The focus will be on analysing and modelling the factors that increase demand, or repel it, through estimating demand elasticities at the microscopic level. This will include specifically the attractiveness of transfers and terminals, the perceptions of various sub-modes of public transport (such as metro, light rail and bus rapid transit), and the influence of pricing on travel patterns and crowding. The key approach will be to use spatial variation (from origin to destination) and temporal changes (changes to infrastructure, fare reforms, etc.) to reveal travel preferences among the users. 

The INTRAURBAN project is a large project at DTU Management, which besides you will include one other PhD study on public transport network design and one postdoc on fare structures in public transport. In addition, it will include international collaboration with world-renowned researchers within the field as well as close contact to industry partners. 

Your overall focus will be to analyse and model user behaviour using various data sources, some being very large-scale, with the goal of estimating user preferences in public transport. This will include application of various state-of-the-art statistical models and/or machine learning techniques. 

Application procedure 

To apply, please read the full job advertisement, by clicking the ‘Apply’ button. 

Application deadline: 2 January 2023 (Danish time)


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