Er. Ranjit Kumar Das

Ranjit Kumar Das

Introduction to Transportation Planning and Engineering

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Modes of Transportation
1.3 Comparison between various modes of Transportation
1.4 Historical Development of Roads: Roman, Tresaguet, Telford, Macadam
1.5 Road Construction in Nepal
1.6 Transportation Planning including Objectives of Planning
1.7 Classification of Roads: Strategic Road Network, Rural/Local Road Network, Urban Road

1.1 Introduction to Transportation System

A transportation system may be defined as consisting of the fixed facilities, the flow entities, and
the control systems that permit people and goods to overcome the friction of geographical space
efficiently in order to participate in a timely manner in some desired activity.
The transportation system as defined by ITE-Institute of Transportation Engineers can be summed
up as the application of technology and scientific principles to the planning, functional design,
operation and management of facilities for any mode of transportation to provide safe, rapid,
comfortable, convenient, economical and environmentally compatible movement of people and

Components of Transportation System

A transportation system consists of different components which together allow people and goods
to overcome the hindrance of geography. The different components are:

1. Fixed facilities

These are the physical components of the system that are fixed in space and constitute the network
of links and nodes. Road, railway track, ocean or waterways, airports harbor etc. are fixed facilities
of their respective modes.

2. Flow entities

These are the components that traverse (travel through) the fixed facilities. They mainly include
vehicles and are considered on the basis of shape, size, weight, acceleration and deceleration
abilities. For example, road vehicles, trains, aircraft, ships etc.

3. Control system

This system consists of vehicle control and flow control.
Vehicle control refers to the technological way in which the vehicles are guided either
automatically or manually. Flow control consists of the means that permit the efficient and smooth
operation of a stream of vehicles and the reduction of conflicts between them. Eg: traffic control
using traffic lights, at the intersection, road signs and markings, air traffic control etc. help in the
smooth flow of vehicles.

Role of Transportation in Society

Transportation is an inseparable part of a society. In fact, the measure of the development of any
society is characterized by how developed transportation system is. Advancement in transportation
has made a vast change in the quality of life of people. Impact of transportation can be summarized
as below:

1. Economic role: Transportation plays an important role in developing the economic aspect
of a society. Economics involves production, distribution, and consumption of goods and
services which are inevitable without the transportation facility. In a country like Nepal
which has a wide gap between production and consumption, an effective mode of
transportation can always be helpful for its economic growth. Rice of terai need to be
transported to the hills and the apples of Humla and Jumla need to be brought up to the
2. Social role: Development of transportation system influences the formation of urban
society. It links rural areas with urban ones transporting goods from one place to other,
eventually helping in overall development. Transportation also promotes cultural and
social exchanges. It provides employment opportunities.
3. Political role: The world being divided into different political units for mutual protection,
economic advantages and development of common culture is linked by transportation of
both people and goods through different modes. Transportation plays a vital role in
functioning of these political units.
4. Environmental role: The environment is highly affected by transportation. Its harmful
aspect is more prominent than its useful aspects. Air pollution, noise pollution, overuse of
non-renewable energy etc. are some of its impacts on the environment. Transportation
safety (mainly road safety) is of major concern.

1.2 Modes of Transportation

a) Primary Mode

• Land Transportation (Highway, Railway)
• Air Transportation
• Water Transportation
• Pipeline Transportation

b) Secondary Mode

• Ropeway
• Belt conveyors
• Canal

Primary Mode

Land Transportation

1. Highway: The major advantage of the highway is that it has high accessibility to almost
all potential destinations, direct service with very low door-to-door travel times, moderate
speeds and capacities. Capital cost for physical facilities is also moderate. Vehicles are
small and readily available at a low cost. However operating cost tends to be higher.
Environmental impacts of the system as a whole are high and are a major social concern.

2. Railway: The railway system provides moderate speeds and levels of accessibility.
Accessibility is only limited to railway stations. A heavy capital must be invested in both
physical facilities and flow entities. This mode is very effective for transportation of a lot
of goods through land.

Air Transportation

The main advantage of air transport is its high speed and less time consumption. Accessibility is
limited but is of less importance as greater lengths of trips are made. Capital investment as well as
operating and maintenance cost for both fixed and flow entities are higher than other modes.
Environmental impacts are significant, air and noise pollution of commercial aviation but are of
less concern than that of highways.

Water Transportation

Water transportation provides low speed and relatively low accessibility, but extremely high
capacities. The capital cost of vehicles, especially ships are very high but operating cost is low for
a large distance. So, if a lot of goods is required for transportation, this mode can be used for best
results. Environmental effects are relatively low but the chances of water pollution due to leakage
of oil and petroleum products are high.

Pipeline Transportation

The transport of daily-use products and wastes to the desired location encompasses pipeline
transportation. They provide very low speed, but the high capacity constant flow and involves a
large amount of working storage. Environmental impacts are generally low.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *