Using Multi-Mode Transport Modelling in a National Context to Develop a New Zimbabwe National Transport Master Plan

Using Multi-Mode Transport Modelling in a National Context to Develop a New Zimbabwe National Transport Master Plan

Nominated for The Neil Mansfield Award


Maria Chan, Peter Davidson Consultancy, Peter Davidson, Peter Davidson Consultancy, Helen Porter, Peter Davidson Consultancy


This paper describes the model methodology, calibration, validation, forecasting and its use to develop the Zimbabwe National Transport Master Plan.


This project aimed to understand the impact of proposed developments to the national transport infrastructure and to forecast traffic demand over the course of 20 years. Proposed schemes to improve long distance transit of passengers and goods within Zimbabwe and to external countries included improvements to the roads connecting major cities within the country, the rehabilitation of existing railway lines and the implementation of new lines and a BRT service. The plan also aims to increase tourism by providing easier access to tourist locations.

PDC’s role in this project involved the development of a Multi – Modal National Transport Model of Zimbabwe used to produce traffic forecasts for three proposed scenarios at short, medium and long term growth horizons and accounted for all modes: private vehicle on the main roads, bus, rail and aviation. PDC designed surveys including origin-destination for road side interviews, bus, train and airport, and stated preference and revealed preference on road, bus and rail; the data was used to prepare base year highway and public transport matrices. When building matrices, a systematic methodology was used to avoid double counting, and to take account of unobserved movements. These matrices were assigned to the network as part of model validation.

The demand model used nested mode and destination choice with road, rail and bus as separate modes. The stated and revealed preference survey data was used to develop the new transport strategy and to understand the level of switching between modes. Initially this was done sequentially with logsums from the destination choice used in the mode choice; finally a simultaneous method was used and the relative sensitivity of mode and destination was estimated and results will be discussed in this paper.

The project involved grand scale implementations including the rehabilitation of cross-country rail infrastructure and the upgrading of main roads between the country’s major cities, and the model allowed PDC to determine demand ridership and revenue forecasts for the rail plan, BRT and car strategies including tolling. The finalised multi-modal model helped develop a flexible transport plan that can respond to different pressures over time i.e. changes in GDP, population growth and the introduction of new public transport services.


Association for European Transport