The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC) at the Centre for Transport Studies within Imperial College is a globally recognised applied research and consultancy group.

The Railway and Transport Strategy Centre (RTSC)  was established in 1992 as a centre of excellence serving the railway industry on strategic, economic and technology issues. RTSC has since broadened its international group of research partners and strengthened its position as strategic advisors to public transport organisations around the globe. The RTSC at Imperial College London is well known within the transport industry for its research in the field of public transport operations & management, transport economics and policy, and its expertise in relation to the initiation, facilitation and management of multi-year international benchmarking projects.

Project Summary

Benchmarking and performance measurement

The RTSC facilitates and manages eight programmes of international public transport benchmarking in the rail, metro, light-rail, bus and air transport sectors.  Example of these benchmarking programmes include: The Community of Metros comprises 38 metro systems from 36 cities around the world; the International Bus Benchmarking Group comprises 16 large and medium urban bus organisations; the American Bus Benchmarking Group consists of 22 mid-sized agencies; the International Suburban Rail Benchmarking Group (ISBeRG) brings together a diverse, global range of suburban rail operators; the Group of North American Light Rail Systems; the International Mainline Benchmarking Group; the Railway Infrastructure and Asset Management Group, and the Airport Benchmarking Group.

Public transport operations and management

The RTSC has performed a large number of research and consultancy studies on a variety of topics concerning public transport operations and management. Some examples of metro benchmarking studies include: Communicating with Passengers; Unattended Train Operation; Asset Information Systems; and Train Driver Productivity.

The Bus Benchmarking Groups have studied topics including an international Customer Satisfaction Survey; Comparing Regularity; Management of Premium Services; and benchmarking paratransit operations. Recent detailed studies for ISBeRG include Developing, Strengthening and Maintaining Safety Culture; Energy Management and Savings; and Contract Management.

Transport economics and policy

The RTSC has considerable experience in various areas of transport economics and policy. Work includes research and consultancy in fare regulation, the productivity of metros, metro cost efficiency, transport and road pricing and agglomeration economics. Our research partners include over 100 public transport operators worldwide, as well as government institutions including the UK Department for Transport and the World Bank.

For further information on our projects, please contact rtsc@imperial.ac.uk or +44 (0) 20 7594 5995