SYSTRA works at the forefront of transport modelling and simulation. We apply relevant appraisal and forecasting techniques to help clients deliver the transport networks, policies and strategies required to meet future demand and address national priorities for sustainability, accessibility and equity in transport provision.

Developing optimal transport solutions for the future

Transport plays a key role in shaping the future of towns and cities and addressing some of the biggest challenges facing society today, such as climate change and levelling up. Local authorities, developers and transport planners need to balance a complex range of priorities in order to deliver the optimum transport systems for a given development, city or region.

A wide range of modelling tools and appraisal techniques can be used to inform the development of new transport schemes and policies – so it’s important to choose the most appropriate model for each application. New transport projects need to balance the demands of road users and passengers with the need to provide more sustainable and active travel options.

SYSTRA is a leading transport modelling consultant, with more than 50 years’ experience in developing innovative tools to carry out traffic and transport forecasts and appraisals – helping clients predict and plan optimal transport solutions for the future.

Discover how SYSTRA provides expert insight and advice to support decision making, policy development and strategy.

Working with our clients, SYSTRA focuses transport modelling on specific needs and provides approaches and tools that are proportionate, evidence-based and fit-for-purpose.

Targeted support for robust transport appraisals

Our experience enables us to simulate traffic and transport impacts on any scale. We use innovative data visualisation techniques to ensure that the complex outputs from our models can be widely understood and interrogated by all stakeholders, regardless of their transport modelling expertise.

The quantitative analysis we provide is used to support scheme and policy appraisals, and to assess the transport impacts of future developments or transport schemes. We commonly integrate public transport, road, park-and-ride, parking, active travel and variable demand modelling to provide clients with full and robust representations of transport choices and provision.

Multi-modal modelling to address transport priorities

Our multi-modal and microsimulation modelling expertise supports the development of transport strategies, business cases, land-use planning appraisals and public transport patronage forecasts. We develop tools and methods to help clients address some of the key priorities for the transport sector:

  • We model carbon emitted by transport and assess the impacts of measures to achieve net zero.
  • Active mode appraisals help to predict the usage and resultant benefits of cycling and walking schemes.
  • Low Emission Zone and Clean Air Zone assessments help to predict the impacts of charging and non-charging measures on transport behaviour (changes in fleet mix, modal change and routing change) and the harmful gas emissions of transport.
  • Predictive tools help to identify the need and location for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
  • Alternative futures models apply behavioural research into future transport systems conducted by our in-house research teams.

Public transport modelling

We support the development of better public transport services, using models to analyse and predict public transport demand and usage. We help clients understand which public transport routes passengers will use, how crowding on buses, trains and trams affects travellers’ choices, and how fare strategies will impact ridership and revenue.

Our models can be used to assess the benefits of improving walking routes to public transport stops and stations, and of improving the comfort of waiting areas or the cleanliness of vehicles and stations. We can import big data sources, such as ticket sales and service timetables, to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of our models.

Strategic highway modelling

We can conduct highway modelling on any scale, from examining individual junctions to modelling all highways across cities, regions or even countries. We can carry out these assessments as stand-alone highways-only studies, or as part of wider multi-modal modelling projects.

We specialise in connecting different modelling software to allow different levels of detail to be modelled within the same highway network – so we can capture powerful interactions within our appraisals. We have expertise in using all of the principal highway modelling software, including Saturn, Visum and Cube, as well as our own bespoke modelling software.


  • Variable demand & behavioural change
  • Operational and lifecycle carbon
  • Public transport
  • Cycle & pedestrian
  • Local and strategic highway

Variable demand modelling

Variable Demand Models (VDM) integrate modelling of the road, public transport and active travel networks to predict overall travel patterns. SYSTRA has been at the forefront of variable demand modelling since our first study in the UK in 1968. We continue to push the boundaries of variable demand modelling, including advising on the potential for innovative activity-based models, which provide detailed representations of the choices households make in scheduling their daily lives and journeys.

Bespoke models for every application

There are many ways to build a transport model, depending on the intended purpose and desired outcome. SYSTRA has particular skills in establishing the necessary characteristics of a model and developing appropriate models that are fit for the intended purpose.

We have experience in all aspects of modelling tool development, from determining high level functionality to collecting and collating data. We can apply activity-based modelling and outputs, and we can adopt different approaches to forecasting, such as ‘decide and provide’ or ‘vision and validate’.

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