Variability is inherent in the transport system, and the value of reliability is increasingly recognised as a key factor in policy, infrastructure and traveller decisions. Dr Emily Moylan leads the rely theme at TransportLab, which focuses on data-driven approaches to understanding variation in the multimodal transport system.

Emily Moylan
The rely theme, led by Dr. Emily Moylan, aims to ensure  travellers and freight can reach their destination under varying conditions.
  • Identifying stochasticity:  The emergence of new data sources supports the investigation of variability and randomness in the transport system. This research area includes the identification, measurement and analysis of stochasticity across modes and contexts using novel data sources and methods.
  • Understanding behaviour: Travellers understand and value reliability intuitively. In recognition of the value of reliability in travel decisions and the increasing focus on the customer, travel modellers are challenged to accurately reflect the role that system reliability plays in destination, route, mode and departure time choices.
  • Emerging technologies: The autonomous vehicle future will include changes to day-to-day travel time variability, the value of reliability and the occurrence of extreme conditions. This research area builds on observations of today’s network to predict and understand hypothetical changes as autonomous vehicles reach saturation.
  • Disrupted networks: Transport network performance is impacted by weather, special events, incidents, roadworks and natural disasters. These unusual events can interact spatially and temporally to create complex changes in system reliability. A better understanding of their impacts is essential for designing more efficient, safer and more sustainable transport networks.
Transport system reliability is driven by predictable variability such as time-of-day and day-of-week patterns as well as unreliability due to day-to-day variations and public holidays.