Name: Niels van Oort

Title: Assistant Professor, Public Transport

Affiliation: Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Niels van Oort is an assistant professor Public Transport at Delft University of Technology.  He is co-director of the Smart Public Transport Lab, connecting scientific research and practical challenges.  Niels’ main fields of expertise are public transport planning, dealing with the passenger perspective, service reliability and Big Data.

In addition to teaching, Niels presents his research at conferences and frequently publishes articles in international journals.

Niels studied traffic and transport at Delft University of Technology and completed his Master on Public Transport in 2003.  He commenced as a researcher at HTM, the public transport company of The Hague.  During his tenure at HTM, Niels commenced a PhD on service reliability in public transport.  He performed his research part time at Delft University of Technology and in 2009 joined the public transport research group of Professor Wilson at MIT.  In 2010 Niels commenced working as a public transport consultant at Goudappel Coffeng mobility consultants.  He completed his PhD in 2011 and started work at Delft university of Technology in 2012 as an assistant professor focusing on research of passenger reliability in the total trip chain.

Niels has been involved in several studies concerning network and timetable optimisation for over 15 years, thereby applying his research into practice.  In 2017 he commenced creation of the Smart Public Transport Lab which was launched in 2018.


BSc/MSc Transport and Planning, Civil Engineering, Delft University of Technology


PhD research, Delft University of Technology – Service reliability and urban public transport design

May 2003 – April 2005

Trainee HTM Personenvervoer

Department research and development, Den Haag

April 2005 – 2010

Consultant HTM Personenvervoer

Department research and development, Den Haag

2006 – 2010

Consultant HTM Consultancy


Senior consultant public transport, Goudappel Coffeng


Assistant professor public transport, TU Delft


Quarter maker Smart Public Transport Lab, TU Delft


Co-director Smart Public Transport Lab, TU Delft


April 2005 – 2010

  • Operations control system RandstadRail: Design, tendering and implementation;
  • Design of control approach bus/tram/ RandstadRail;
  • Monitoring and analysis operations bus/tram/RandstadRail;
  • Tender Bus Den Haag;
  • Network design bus/tram/RandstadRail;
  • Ridership and feasibility studies;
  • Timetable design and optimization;
  • Finding and solving infrastructural bottlenecks;
  • Capacity studies tram/light rail;
  • Determining locations of new depots tram/RandstadRail;
  • Development of rail simulation tool (in cooperation with TU Delft);

 2006 – 2010

  • BRU, Utrecht: capacity study new bus terminal;
  • Regiotram Groningen: prediction and analysis expected operations;
  • City of Utrecht: capacity analysis terminal new tram line;
  • Belgrade light rail: functional design infrastructure;
  • Brussel, MIVB: knowledge exchange timetable design and service reliability;
  • Transport for London knowledge exchange timetable design and service reliability;
  • Jordan: capacity analysis railways.


  • Designing bike and public transport network Copenhagen
  • Research of ridership growth of European railways
  • Analysis service reliability and ridership Uithoflijn Utrecht
  • Redesign public transport Amsterdam
  • Impact study introduction tram on Zuidtangent
  • Ridership and optimisation study public transport Rotterdam
  • Impact study of reduced public transport funding on ridership in Rotterdam
  • Research transformation Hoekselijn to metro
  • Research of service reliability in tender documents
  • Several analyses of (future) level service reliability (Schiphol, Amstelveenlijn, tram Maastricht)
  • National demand and capacity analysis public transport (NMCA, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2017)