Information Technology for Public Involvement

Effective public involvement is crucial for planning and implementing transport projects, especially in complex urban environments. It generates better ideas by providing fresh insights and intense local knowledge, and helps generate political support by listening and responding.

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Information technology provides great opportunities for making public involvement more efficient and effective. I’ve been exploring many different solutions including:

  • Transport games for education and engagement
  • Crowdsourcing for transport
  • Internet-based information (websites, WIKIs)

I’ve developed several prototype applications (GreenCityStreets, BusMeister, Grr-Grr-Bike, Ringstrasse150, and RingRide) as well as several conceptual ideas (Working on the Railroad, My U-6).

My website is a resource for understanding how crowdsoucing can be used in reporting problems, collecting and analysing data, participating in project design, and providing transport services, along with examples. It also presents specific examples from public transport, biking, and sustainable streets.

IT for Public Involvement – Selected Research

Banedanmark Railway Traffic Management System

Banedanmark (Denmark’s railway network operator) is developing a new railway traffic management system (TMS) as part of the Signalling Programme. I’m assisting with TMS design and communications. 

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Information Technology in Railway Planning and Operations

I provide consulting advice on the use of information technology in railway planning and operations based on experience gained as a consultant, researcher and planning manager for San Francisco’s Caltrain regional railway. This page outlines my work in Banedanmark’s advanced traffic management system, and key research reports.

Banedanmark Advanced Traffic Management System (TMS)

Today railway traffic management systems are used to help control railway infrastructure and operations. Advanced traffic management systems add decision support systems to help railways better manage trains during disruptions (e.g., delays or equipment problems). Banedanmark, Denmark’s railway network owner, is implementing an advanced TMS as part of its nationwide ERTMS project.

I assisted the design team for Banedanmark’s advanced TMS from 2015 to 2018 with communications, educational programme development, and system conceptual design. Some examples of this work are:

Railway Scheduling and Simulation

I have done research on and helped develop information technologies used in railway planning and operations while at the ETH Zurich and as an independent consultant. My work has also included developing research proposals, and writing and editing technical reports. Some examples include:

  • Structure and Simulation Evaluation of an Integrated Real-Time Rescheduling System for Railway Networks. Lüthi, Medeossi, Nash. Journal of Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer Netherlands; Volume 9, Number 1, 2009. LINK:
  • Can Information Technology Help Rail Play a Greater Role in Preventing Climate Change? Nash, Weidmann, Lüthi. Transportation Research Board TRR #2139, 2009. LINK:
  • Increasing Schedule Reliability on Zurich’s S-Bahn Through Computer Analysis and Simulation. Nash, Weidmann, Büchmuller, Bollinger. Transportation Research Board TRR #1955, 2007. LINK:
  • Understanding the Timetable Planning Process as a Closed Control Loop. Lüthi, Hürlimann, Nash. Proceedings of the 1st International Seminar on Railway Operations Modelling and Analysis, 2005.
  • Railroad simulation using OpenTrack. Hürlimann, Nash. Computers in Railways IX, WIT Press, 2004.
  • OpenTrack User Manual – (English). Hürlimann, Nash. OpenTrack Railway Technology Ltd.; 2004, 2010, 2018.

Project to create a curated website of methods for using crowdsourcing to support sustainable transport. Categories: report, data, collaborate, and provide; examples from public transport, cycling, and liveable streets.

Ringstrasse 150 Project

The Ringstrasse 150 project examined how games and information technology could be used to increase public engagement in transport planning and increase political support for sustainable transport in Vienna.


Award-winning project teaches people about public transport so they can provide better input and ideas. Project included the BusMeister game, educational resources and a collaboration application. More.



I help clients write and edit technical papers, reports, proposals, websites, etc., including translation from German to English.

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I started reading the school news on my grammar school’s closed-circuit TV channel at the age of 10. I was a DJ and public relations director at my college radio station. My transport planning work turned out to be half technical and half explaining technology. Now I’ve got my own YouTube channel for fun transport music videos. In short, I’ve always enjoyed communications.

Today I help clients with communications strategy, content development, editing, media production, and translation. Examples of my work include:

  • Technical papers
  • Research proposals
  • Project tenders
  • Presentations
  • Video clips
  • Marketing brochures
  • Websites
  • Software documentation

For specific examples please contact me or check my Publications page.


Grr-Grr-Bike is a smart phone game designed to encourage players to become involved in local bicycle planning and advocacy.

Public Transport Priority

Public transport priority makes transit more attractive and cost effective. Read more on Public Transport Priority in Zurich.

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Public Transport Priority – My Experience

I provide consulting advice on public transport priority planning and implementation based on experience gained as a consultant, advocate and government employee, as well as extensive research on the topic. This page presents key information about public transport priority and links to my research reports.

Public Transport Priority – Selected Research

Public Transport Priority – Definition

Public transport priority consists of implementing actions and measures that give public transport vehicles preference over other vehicles on the street. The goal is to make public transport attractive by increasing its speed and reliability. Public transport priority measures include:

  • Dedicated right-of-way;
  • Roadway improvements and regulations;
  • Traffic signal prioritization;
  • Operational improvements (e.g., proof-of-payment, operations centres), and,
  • Complimentary measures (e.g., traffic calming) to support public transport.

Public transport priority measures are well known and understood. They can be implemented individually, as part of comprehensive route or network improvement programs, or as part of bus rapid transit (BRT) projects.

Individual Public Transport Priority Measures

Individual public transport priority measures address specific problems. A good example is restricting turns at an intersection where buses are delayed by vehicles waiting to turn. The National Association of City Transport Officials (NACTO) Transit Street Design Guide LINK: detailed descriptions of individual public transport priority measures and their implementation.

Comprehensive Public Transport Priority

The comprehensive approach consists of systematically implementing priority measures to individual routes or throughout the network. Good examples include New York’s Select Bus Service and San Francisco MTA’s Muni Rapid Network.

Network-wide Public Transport Priority

In a network-wide program, public transport priority measures are applied to all lines. Network-wide application of priority provides greater benefits than route or individual application because it makes travel throughout the network attractive. Zurich is the pre-eminent example of this approach. I have done several research projects on Zurich’s public transport priority program, key references are below.

Frequent Transit Network Design

Frequent transit network LINK: design can be an initial step in network-wide application. Frequent network design restructures a city’s public transport from many infrequently operated lines to fewer lines operating more frequently. Although some people need to walk further to a stop and transfer, frequent network design increases overall accessibility and quality of service. Because frequent service lines are used by more vehicles, they become excellent candidates for applying public transport priority measures – which further improves service for passengers.

Bus Rapid Transit

Bus rapid transit (BRT) can be considered the ultimate in public transport priority because it combines priority measures with significant investments in buses and stations. The first BRT system opened in Ottawa (1973) and was followed by Curitiba Brazil (1974). The Institute for Transportation & Development Policy (ITDP) has developed a BRT Standard LINK:

Railway Planning

Extensive research on railway planning and scheduling. Project manager for planning and environmental studies for CalTrain commuter railway. Research and reports available from Publications.


International City Planners Network

Before Facebook and LinkedIn I started the ICPN, a professional social network for planners. Needless to say, I was ahead of my time (2005-2008).

San Francisco County Transportation Authority

I served as Executive Director of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority (2000-01). The agency is responsible for long range transport planning and funding.

Caltrain Downtown Extension

I was Project Manager for the Caltrain Downtown San Francisco Extension Project (1995-1997). We completed a draft EIS, but the mayor vetoed the project. (He later changed his mind.)

Andrew Nash

has over 30 years experience helping cities, public transport agencies, railways, research institutes and consultants in San Francisco, Zurich and Vienna.