t.BA.VS.VSG.19HS (Transportation Systems - Basics) 
Module: Transportation Systems - Basics
This information was generated on: 18 July 2024
Transportation Systems - Basics
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Version: 2.0 start 01 February 2019

Short description

The passenger and freight transport market: determination of demand in the context of settlements and traffic. Transport systems: modes, characteristics, market shares, costs and cooperation.
Public and private transport planning procedures: principles, concepts and dimensioning of infrastructure

Module coordinator

Full Name (ZHAW username)

Learning objectives (competencies)

Objectives Competences Taxonomy levels
The students know the relevant characteristics and interdependencies of  dedicated planning steps of public and private transport systems, its specific ranges of application and potential service  F K2
The students are able to develop a common planning procedure and to carry this out in a group assignment F K3
The students are able to evaluate accurately current mobility issues  F K2
The students perform a typical planning procedure in form of a group assignment.  KE K3

Module contents

Public and Private Transport Service Planning
(1) Transport Market (Passenger and Freight Traffic)
  • Trip End Values  (potentials of origins and destinations, mobility requirements)
  • Trip Interchange Values (mode of transport trip purpose, transport route, volume and time, distances of domestic and transit transport)
(2) Transport systems (passenger- and freight traffic); technical characteristics and impacts of transport modes and carriers
  • Performances, capacities
  • Mode shares of transport modes and carriers
  • Environment including interaction of settlements and traffic
  • Macro-economic relevance
  • Efficiency and funding
(3) Principles of Traffic Planning
  • Planning levels and phases
  • Evaluation of mobility requirements (O/D relations,  desire lines, adaption to transport networks (segments/nodes, domestic / transit traffic)
  • Decision-making factors of potential user groups with respect to transport modes
  • Interactions and contexts Service supply - Production - Infrastructure - Transport
  • Objectives of transport politics and acceptance of transport projects
  • Impacts on third parties and environment
(4) Planning Procedures for Public Transportation
  • Market-/structure analysis of space/network, utilisation, service supply and production according to the network hierarchy for long distance, regional, urban and local traffic including transport chains from door to door or from suppliers to purchasers
  • Planning steps: from demand desire lines to service concepts
  • Specific use of different transport modes for major, medium and local distributors
  • Service principles with respect to capacity, connectivity, effectiveness (radials, diameters, cross-country or cross-city)
  • Formulation of goals for accessibility, spatial and temporal availability, travel time, safety, comfort, convenience including interchanging, effectiveness (patronage) 
  • Service concepts using network graphics
  • Economic impact and measurement
  • Evaluation of service options from perspective of users, transport carriers, politics and concerned population.  
(5) Planning Procedures for Private Transportation
  • Network hierarchies according to its function and road types
  • Network configuration including interactions subject to settlement developments and requirements from domestic/transit traffic  
  • Principles of traffic sequences and dimensioning of sections and nodes  
  • Traffic concepts including traffic regimes and management
  • Design concepts for road space, sections(nodes, circulation/lanes, public transport, public space, interchanges 
  • Principles of road project planning (alignment including cross-sections, gradients, visibility, nodes/roundabouts)
  • Road infrastructure costs (investments, maintenance)
  • Feasibility studies taking into account transport demand, political and technical feasibility, environmental-friendly, realisability)
  • Principles of Slow Traffic ( Performance and infrastructure requirements and request for space)   
(6) Realisation of Rail Infrastructure Projects  
  • Planning principles: Development of rail networks being based on technical characteristics and operational functionalities
  • Core elements: topology of sections, junctions and stations
  • Development processes, simulations of different options including assessments
(7) Concepts for Freight Transportation
  • Market reviews (good types, , requests for different transport modes, transfers, transport times and distances)
  • Significance of freight transport as part of the entire logistic chain
  • Different kinds of freight transport according to purposes (domestic or transit on road or rail

Teaching materials

Lecture notes

Supplementary literature

Useful additional information is mentioned during the lecture. 



Teaching language

(X) German ( ) English

Part of International Profile

( ) Yes (X) No

Module structure

Type 2a
  For more details please click on this link: T_CL_Modulauspraegungen_SM2025


Description Type Form Scope Grade Weighting
Graded assignments during teaching semester Term paper written   marking 20 %
End-of-semester exam Test written   marking 80 %



Legal basis

The module description is part of the legal basis in addition to the general academic regulations. It is binding. During the first week of the semester a written and communicated supplement can specify the module description in more detail.
Course: Verkehrssysteme - Grundlagen - Vorlesung
Verkehrssysteme - Grundlagen - Vorlesung


  • No module description is available in the system for the cut-off date of 01 August 2099.