Forecasting Light Vehicle Traffic

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The Bureau of Transport Economics (BTE) has developed and applied methods for forecasting light vehicle traffic on the nation's roads. This paper describes the methods and provides estimates and projections of light vehicle traffic within major Australian cities and on Australia's principal non-urban highways. A simple model was developed to predict the growth of total light vehicle traffic in each of Australia's major cities. When linked to congestion models, the BTE results presage a looming congestion problem in our cities. The most significant contribution of the Working Paper is the development of new models for long-term forecasting of light vehicle traffic on Australia's non-urban highways. As far as the BTE is aware, its methodology has not previously been used in Australian studies. Data from a number of different sources have been utilised to estimate interregional passenger travel by domestic residents and light vehicle highway traffic. The traffic projections indicate that growth in traffic volumes on the National Highway system will be greatest on those sections linking the major capitals; Adelaide Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and regional centres in between.