A systems-based approach for the interdisciplinary analysis of the transport sector: Tools for policy and infrastructure planning

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering

Subject Categories

Mechanical Engineering


Gokongwei College of Engineering


Mechanical Engineering

Thesis Adviser

Jose Bienvenido Manuel M. Biona

Defense Panel Chair

Jonathan R. Dungca


Transport sector problems are some of the most complex because of their interdisciplinary nature. The strong ties of transportation with economic and environmental issues make it both important and challenging. A good transportation network is a sign of a vibrant economy because of faster movement of goods and services. Unfortunately, the said sector is responsible for approximately 30% of fuel-based CO2 emissions. Knowing that the number of trips globally are expected to quadruple by 2050, policymakers, industry practitioners and academia would have to act soon.
Current interdisciplinary project assessment methodologies for transport are only able to assess projects which have already been conceptualized. There is a lack of an integrated methodology for quantitatively identifying necessary interventions and opportunities for improvement. On the other hand, the lack of a step assessing the social climate towards alternatives makes it challenging for policymakers to understand why certain alternatives are preferred or not by the commuting public. This gap in transportation project assessment literature creates an opportunity for the present study.
The present study synthesizes various established methodologies by developing a system-of-systems framework to tackle the problem at hand. Specifically, (a) decomposition analysis is utilized to reveal historical driving forces to increases in transport sector energy consumption and CO2 emissions (b) development of a transport desirability criteria identifies necessary interventions and opportunities to improve transport services quality in the city (c) life cycle cost-benefit analysis assesses the readiness of various alternative fuel vehicle technologies and (d) discourse analysis obtains the common opinions and coalitions of belief within the population regarding transport issues.
The work in this study resulted to four main conclusions. First, there has been increasing energy intensity in the transport sector in the recent decade. This is because of high private car ownership growth rates in regions outside Metro Manila. Second, public transportation is an equalizer for transport accessibility in Metro Manila. The availability of public transport eases out inequity on the aspect of monetary costs. Third, the capability of new alternative fuel vehicles to use the existing fueling infrastructure is a significant factor in readiness for deployment. Because of this, diesel hybrid electric vehicles emerge as the only ready alternative for public transport modes. It is also worth mentioning that societal benefits from private electric vehicles are about three times larger than all other alternatives, but their current high ownership costs hinder their deployment. Finally, there is diversity in preference of the commuting public, and these have to be considered when planning for transport policies and alternatives. For alternatives to be adopted successfully, quality, comfort and other standards have to be met. To integrate the findings of the individual subsections, an intervention and policy roadmap is proposed through 2025, while recommendations for future work also follow.

Abstract Format






Accession Number


Shelf Location

Archives, The Learning Commons, 12F Henry Sy Sr. Hall

Physical Description

1 computer disc ; 4 3/4 in.


Transportation--Philippines; Transportation and state--Philippines; Urban transportation policy--Philippines

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