Course Syllabus for

Public Transport Research - an Overview
Kollektivtrafikforskningens kunskapsfält

VTV015F, 7.5 credits

Valid from: Autumn 2020
Decided by: Rektor Viktor Öwall
Date of establishment: 2016-06-21

General Information

Division: Traffic and Roads
Course type: Third-cycle course
Teaching languages: English, Swedish


The purpose of the course is to provide doctoral students with comprehensive knowledge in the field of public transport through an increased understanding of the concepts, theories and methods used in various sub-areas in public transport research. The course will also give doctoral students an understanding of public transport research by putting today's development in relation to a historical development. The course provides overviews of the current state of knowledge and research in five research fields and helps to give participants a common understanding of how public transport is defined and researched.


Knowledge and Understanding

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Competences and Skills

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Judgement and Approach

For a passing grade the doctoral student must

Course Contents

The course consists of an introduction to the public transport area in the form of how public transport is organized and managed and what conditions and challenges public transport has. Thereafter, the course consists of five different themes in public transport research that are partly based on different scientific traditions. The themes are Collaboration, Planning and traffic, Social benefits and effects, Social justice, as well as Digitization and the public transport of the future. Each theme will include an introductory lecture, a homework assignment to write based on reading literature and a seminar where homework and literature are discussed. Under the theme Collaboration, an insight is given into what collaboration means and what different perspectives on collaboration there are. In addition, challenges related to the necessary interaction between independent but mutually dependent actors in order to increase the attractiveness of public transport are addressed. The theme Planning and traffic planning focuses on aspects such as different types of systems and when different systems are suitable, the system's function, logistics, planning of lines and timetables, ticket systems, information management and modeling. Social benefits and effects is based on classic welfare arguments (Kaldor-Hicks) and further effects on society to which public transport can contribute. Models / methods, such as cost-benefit analysis, which in various ways try to evaluate these effects are discussed. The theme will also highlight the effects of public transport on the environment. Social justice addresses the issue of whether access to passenger transport can be treated as a social justice issue and, if so, why and in what way. The theme also addresses different perspectives on social justice and what distinguishes them, as well as the different types of conflicts that arise in transport planning and the importance of balances between different interests. Digitalization and future public transport contains aspects of the use of information and information technology in public transport. Issues that are discussed are what information and technology are central, what are the opportunities and obstacles and how public transport can change.

Course Literature

More titles will be added.

Instruction Details

Types of instruction: Lectures, seminars, miscellaneous. Reading litterature

Examination Details

Examination formats: Written assignments, seminars given by participants. Five written assignments, peer review of an assignment per theme where an opinion must be made both in writing and orally at the seminars. Active participation in the seminars and demonstrate, both at the seminars and in written assignments, that the course literature has been obtained.
Grading scale: Failed, pass

Admission Details

Assumed prior knowledge: None other than being admitted to doctoral studies. Basic knowledge for employment as a doctoral student

Further Information

The course is given if at least 5 students show interest in it. The course is given on site in Lund with the opportunity to participate online. The course will be held in Swedish or English depending on the students. Responsible teaching staff Introduction: Helena Svensson, Collaboration: Fredrik Pettersson-Löfstedt Social justice: Christina Lindkvist, Social benefits and impacts: Désirée Nilsson, Planning and management: Anders Wretstrand, Digitalization and the future of public transport: Jan Persson, Course coordinator: Helena Svensson,

Course Occasion Information

Contact and Other Information

Course coordinator: Helena Svensson <>

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