Blog | 26 August 2015
Subsidies in Aviation: The elusive flight towards fair competition
  Subsidies in aviation are almost as old as air transport itself. Most countries have provided public funding to some parts of their aviation value chains.

In a new blog post, ITF aviation expert Alain Lumbroso explores the issue and proposes three measures to tackle subsidies and move towards fair competition.

Read the Transport Policy Matters blog




Statistics Brief | 20 July 2015
Investment in Inland Transport Infrastructure at Record Low
  Investment in Inland Transport Infrastructure Record LowThe latest ITF Statistics Brief shows that the continued economic crisis has had an impact on transport infrastructure investment:

- Investment in inland transport infrastructure, as a share of GDP, has declined from a peak in 2009 to a record low (0.8%) in the OECD while the volume of investment has fallen back to 1995 levels.

- Investment levels in Central and Eastern European countries have nearly halved since 2009 in real terms, accounting for 1.0% of GDP in 2013 (compared with 1.9% in 2009).

- Western European and North American economies invest increasingly in rail while in Central and Eastern European countries the focus continues to be on roads.

Photo:  Flickr cc - Chili_bob

Go to the Statistics Brief (pdf)

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Aviation | 2 July 2015
ITF review finds UK Airports Commission’s scenarios for future airport expansion robust

Forecasting Airport Demand: Review of UK Airports Commission Forecasts and ScenariosThe forecasts and scenarios for future growth of air passenger demand developed by the UK Airports Commission with regard to the expansion of Heathrow or Gatwick airports are appropriate and robust. This is the key finding of the new study “Forecasting Airport Demand: Review of UK Airports Commission Forecasts and Scenarios” produced by the International Transport Forum (ITF). The Airports Commission had asked the ITF for an external view on its forecasting models and scenarios in preparation for its final report. The Commission’s final report, published on 1 July, recommends a third runway at Heathrow airport as the best option for expanding airport capacity within the London area. The ITF review finds the approach followed by the Airports Commission to estimate future demand to be “the best available” and “very well adapted” to modelling the London airports system.

Photo:  Shutterstock - Badahos

Go to the report

Go to ITF media release

Go to ITF work on aviation

Aviation | 25 June 2015
ICAO and ITF sign co-operation agreement

ITF and ICAO signi co-operative agreementThe International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD will collaborate in working towards the sustainable development of air transport. A framework to engage in joint research and events as well as exchange of information and of staff was signed by both organisations on 23 June in Montreal. The agreement identifies topics such as international air transport liberalisation, security and facilitation of travellers, or aviation infrastructure investment as areas for co-operation between ICAO and ITF.

Building on existing co-operation to better forecast air passenger flows and their impacts, both organisations will work together on statistics methodology and data aggregation, data analysis and forecasting and economic studies on the development of air transport. Other potential areas for joint initiatives are crisis management, sustainable development and climate change mitigation as well as the promotion of compatible regulatory approaches towards international air transport among states. ICAO and ITF will accord each other observer status at their meetings. The collaboration will extend over an initial period of three years.

“This collaboration will provide added value for both organisations and for their member countries”, said ITF Secretary-General José Viegas. “It will help strengthen ITF’s understanding of the aviation sector. And it will help us provide ICAO with additional policy perspectives that can also include lessons from other transport modes.”

Photo: José Viegas, ITF Secretary-General and ICAO Council President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu sign the agreement at ICAO Headquarters in Montreal, Canada on 23 June 2015.

Go to ITF work on aviation

Road Transport | 22 June 2015
Transport ministers approve Quality Charter for road freight

Go to new member photosA Quality Charter for international road haulage operations has been approved by the transport ministers of the ITF European member countries.

The Quality Charter establishes qualification standards for companies, managers and drivers and will enter into force on 1 January 2016. It applies to pan-European road haulage operations under the Multilateral Quota system established in 1974 by the European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT), which evolved into the International Transport Forum (ITF) in 2006.

In a statement issued with the approval of the Quality Charter, ministers of the European member countries of the International Transport Forum “commit to engage their efforts towards having the provisions of the Charter applied to all international transport operations carried under the ECMT Multilateral Quota as of 1 January 2018.”

José Viegas, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum, which manages the Multilateral Quota system, said: “The approval of the Quality Charter is a major step towards harmonisation of conditions in the pan-European road freight transport market. The Charter, alongside the incitation mechanisms already in place for adoption of the most technologically advanced trucks, will establish the Multilateral Quota system as a symbol of quality, safety and environmental standards in road transport.”

The approval of the Quality Charter completes longstanding work by the ITF on defining and promoting the highest standards for freight transport operators, managers and drivers at Pan-European level.

The ITF will monitor the implementation of the provisions of the Quality Charter by the member countries through its European Road Transport Group. It will also define follow-up actions for the further development of the Multilateral Quota system.

Go to the Quality Charter

Go to the Statement from Ministers of European Member Countries on a Quality Charter for International Road Haulage Operations under the ECMT Multilateral Quota System
Annual Summit | 02 June 2015
Argentina, Israel and Morocco join ITF

Go to new member photosThe International Transport Forum at the OECD has three new member countries. Argentina, Israel and Morocco were unanimously accepted into the organisation by its top decision-making body, the Council of Ministers of Transport, at the ITF Summit in Germany on 28 May. The decision takes the number of ITF member countries to 57.

Morocco is the ITF’s first full member on the African continent. Previously, Morocco was an observer country since the creation of ITF in 2006. “Morocco’s accession will be a plus for the Forum. It is also a positive development for Morocco”, said Mohamed Najib Boulif, Morocco’s Deputy Minister of Transport (pictured, right). “The geostrategic position of Morocco in the Mediterranean, in Africa, in the MENA region: these are all strategic assets for Morocco’s participation.”

Israel joins the ITF after becoming a member of the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2010. “Israel is keen to contribute to the work of the ITF, and to be inspired by it”, said Moshe Kamhi of Israel’s delegation to the OECD on occasion of Israel’s accession.

Argentina is the second ITF member country from South America, following the accession of Chile in 2012. Argentina has been actively involved with the ITF’s permanent working group on road safety (known as IRTAD) since 2009. It has been a leading force in establishing the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI), for which IRTAD operates a Spanish-language database with road crash information.

The Hon. Simon Bridges (pictured, centre), minister of transport of New Zealand, the 2015 ITF presidency country, said: “New Zealand welcomes Morocco, Argentina and Israel to the International Transport Forum. The expanded membership of the ITF promises the opportunity to promote an increasingly global outlook for the work of the ITF.”

Go to Summit resources on the 2015 Summit website

Annual Summit | 01 June 2015
2015 Summit: Full resources now online

- Session summaries written by ITF staff

- Video highlights of Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3

- Video summaries of the main sessions

- Full session recordings

- Photos for viewing, sharing and downloading

- Press releases and media mentions

All videos available on our YouTube channel can be shared and embedded into any website

Go to the 2015 Summit website

Corporate Partnership Board Report | 23 April 2015
How shared self-driving cars could change city traffic

What if all trips in a city were carried out by a fleet of self-driving cars shared by users? This study explores the potential outcomes of such a radical upgrade in an urban mobility system. It concludes that up to 9 out of 10 conventional cars could become redundant under certain circumstances. Vast amounts of public space would be freed for other uses in such a scenario. However, the total volume of travel increases in most scenarios and the net benefit of such an urban mobility system upgrade decisively depends on the choice of vehicle type, the level of penetration and the availability of high-capacity public transport to complement the shared self-driving car fleet.

Go to the report:
Urban Mobility System Upgrade: How shared self-driving cars could change city traffic PDF

Go to more information on the Corporate Partnership Board

Roundtable | 08 April 2015
Mexican Logistics Roundtable Focuses on Performance Measurement

An ITF Roundtable on Logistics Development Strategies and Performance Measurement brought together international experts on 9-10 March in Queretaro, Mexico, to debate how best to improve the efficiency of logistics systems. The focus was on collecting data and developing performance indicators to support regulatory reform and achieve policy objectives.



Video presentations from the Roundtable are now available. A draft summary document is in preparation for release in May 2015.

Go to more information on the Roundtable, including video presentations

Annual Summit | 24 February 2015
Registration opens for 2015 Summit on "Transport, Trade and Tourism"

Invitations have been issued to decision makers in government and business, research and civil society for the International Transport Forum’s 2015 Summit on 27-29 May. More than 1000 key players from the transport, trade and tourism sectors are expected to join transport ministers from ITF’s 54 member countries for their Annual Summit in Leipzig, Germany.

Under the headline "Transport, Trade and Tourism: Mobility for a connected world" the Summit will debate policy issues linked to the interconnected nature of transport, trade and tourism: How should transport respond to shifting global trade flows? How can it prepare for shocks to supply chains, caused for instance by increasingly extreme weather as a result of climate change? How can the growth in global tourism be balanced with sustainability? And what can be done to improve the transport experience for tourists?

Taking place halfway between the UN Climate Change Summit in New York in September 2014 and the COP21 Conference on Climate Change in Paris at the end of November 2015, the ITF Summit will provide an important opportunity to align views on contributions of transport, trade and tourism to climate change mitigation in the run-up to COP21. If you would like to receive an invitation to the International Transport Forum’s 2015 Summit, please request it here.

Go to the 2015 Summit website

Annual Summit | 12 February 2015
ITF holds annual Consultation Day with International Organisations

30 international transport stakeholder organisations met at OECD headquarters in Paris on 12 February for the ITF's annual consultation day. This annual process is an important component of the preparations at ITF for the 2015 Summit on "Transport, Trade and Tourism". The 2015 Summit will take place from 27-29 May in Leipzig, Germany, under the Presidency of New Zealand.

The consultation provided a concerted opportunity for stakeholders to provide input for the preparation of Summit sessions. Four break-out sessions focused on specific aspects regarding transport's role in facilitating global trade and international tourism, with a view to aligning an agenda that stakeholders want to bring to ministers in May.

The consultation also provided an opportunity for partner organisations and the ITF secretariat for an initial scoping of the 2016 Summit theme, "Green and Inclusive Transport".

See photos from the Consultation Day

Go to Summit website

ITF Transport Outlook 2015 | 27 January 2015
Global trade: International freight transport to quadruple by 2050

Shifting trade patterns increase transport distances by 12%, North Pacific surpasses North Atlantic as main trading route.

In the face of shifting global trade patterns, international freight transport volumes will grow more than fourfold (factor 4.3) by 2050. Average transport distance across all modes will increase 12%.

- As a result, CO2 emissions from freight transport will grow by 290% by 2050. Freight will replace passenger traffic as main source of CO2 emissions from surface transport.

- The North Pacific route will surpass the North Atlantic as the world’s most busy trading corridor in terms of freight volume (in tonne-km), growing 100 percentage points faster than the North Atlantic. The Indian Ocean corridor will see large growth, with freight volume quadrupling.

- Intra-African (+715%) and intra-Asian (+403%) freight volumes will see particularly strong growth to 2050. Road transport will dominate here due to lack of other modes.

- The share of domestic transport of international freight flows, identified here for the first time, accounts for 10% of trade-related international freight, but 30% of CO2 emissions. This is important: Domestic transport is shaped by national policies, less by international agreements.

These are some of the key findings of the ITF Transport Outlook 2015, presented on 27 January 2015 at the OECD headquarters in Paris, France.

“The foreseeable increase in global freight represents an unprecedented challenge for the world’s transport systems“, said ITF Secretary-General José Viegas at the launch. “Increasing capacity constraints in transport can act as a brake on economic growth.”

Browse a free copy online  
Purchase the report online at the OECD bookshop     
Executive Summary     Other languages  Perspectives des transports FIT 2015 - résumé   ITF Transportausblick 2015 - Zusammenfassung in Deutsch   Perspectivas del transporte 2015 ITF - Resumen en español   Prospettive dei trasporti del FIT (Forum Internazionale dei   ITF 輸送アウトルック2015 - 日本語要約 

Go to Press Release: Global trade: International freight transport to quadruple by 2050      Commerce mondial : Le transport international de fret va quadrupler d’ici 2050.  COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE  

Freight | 13 January 2015
ITF Researchers Win Award for New Modelling Tool

The Best Paper Award in Freight Modelling has been awarded to a paper written by three ITF experts by the U.S. Transportation Research Board (TRB). Two of the paper's authors, Jari Kauppila and Luis Martinez received the award at the TRB's annual conference in Washington, D.C. on 12 January.

The award-winning paper sets out a new modelling tool which for the first time takes into account location, changes in value/weight ratio for products over time and reduction in "fixed costs" with distance for projections for freight flows. The model also allows estimation of the domestic link for cargo from ports to economic centres including freight performed by road or rail between ports and consumption/production centres. According to the scenarios based on the ITF freight model, international freight volumes and CO2 emissions could grow by a factor of four by 2050.
Photo (l-r): Bruce Wang (Texas A&M University), Jari Kauppila (ITF), Luis Martinez (ITF), Katie Turnbull (Texas A&M Transportation Institute).

Go to the paper: "International Freight and Related CO2 Emissions by 2050: A New Modelling Tool" (pdf)

Aviation| 18 December 2014
Impacts of Expanding Airport Capacity on Competition and Connectivity

Impacts of Expanding Airport Capacity on Competition and ConnectivityThe Airports Commission was set up by the Government of the United Kingdom in 2012 to take an independent look at the UK’s future airport capacity needs. It has been tasked with setting out the nature, scale, and timing of steps needed to maintain the UK’s status as an international hub for aviation, alongside recommendations for making better use of the UK’s existing runway capacity by the end of 2013 and setting out recommendations on how to meet any need for additional airport capacity in the longer term by the summer of 2015.

In December 2013 the Commission published its Interim Report, which included a shortlist of three options for increasing the UK’s aviation capacity in the long term: two at Heathrow and one at Gatwick. To determine which alternative would provide the largest benefits to passengers, freight businesses and the UK economy overall it is important to understand how airlines are likely to respond to increased runway capacity.

This report summarises a quantitative analysis of the likely responses from airlines in all segments of the market building on a companion report that identifies the main drivers of airline behaviour and considers the possible influence of changes to existing business models and the introduction of new types of aircraft, such as the Boeing Dreamliner and Airbus A350.

Four sets of airline responses are modelled, two following expansion of Gatwick and two following expansion of Heathrow, to test outcomes under a range of scenarios for the overall development of the global aviation market. The analysis quantifies impacts on connectivity and potential benefits to the consumer through airline competition and relieving congestion at airports and reducing the associated economic rents.

This report is part of the International Transport Forum’s Country-Specific Policy Analysis (CSPA) series. These are topical studies on specific transport policy issues of concern to a country carried out by ITF on request.

Go to publication (pdf)

Go to ITF work on aviation

Go to all Updates...

Urban Mobility | 03 December 2014
New ITF Projections for Urban Mobility in China, India, Latin America Released

Transport in the urban centres of emerging economies is becoming a major battleground for combatting climate change. Big cities in China, India and Latin America with over 500.000 inhabitants will more than double their share of world passenger transport emissions by 2050 to 20% (2010: 9%), if current urban transport policies remain unchanged. 38% of the total growth in world surface transport passenger emissions to 2050 will come from big cities in these three regions in such a business-as-usual scenario.

These new projections, released by the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD for the COP20 climate change negotiations in Lima, Peru, highlight a critical choice for policy-makers: whether to pursue urbanisation based on public transport or on private transport with cars and two wheelers. Sustained policies that promote either private or public urban transport lead to very different mobility futures, as projections for modal shares in 2050 show (see chart):

In India,

- a private transport-oriented policy for cities would lead to two thirds (67%) of urban mobility being covered by car traffic, with motorised two- and three wheelers (17%, 5%) and public transport (11%) accounting for only a third;
- with pro-public transport policies, the share of buses and other public transport forms could be almost four times as high and reach 39% - practically on par with car travel (40%). Two and three-wheelers would cover 12% and 9% respectively.

In Latin America,

- a public transport-oriented policy would result in a 50% share for public transport, 44% for cars, and 7% for two-wheelers in big cities.
- private transport oriented policies would lead to an 82% share for cars, 11% for public transport, and 6% for two-wheelers.

In China,

- an urban policy with few new roads and stringent expansion in car ownership restrictions would lead to a 44% share for cars and a 34% for public transport; with two-wheelers taking 10%.
- In absence of these measures, cars would account for 78% of urban mobility, with two wheelers representing 13% and public transport only 9% of the modal split.

These alternative scenarios have profound impacts for the contribution of urban transport to global emissions that are detailed in the 2015 ITF Transport Outlook, of which chapter 4 containing the projection for China, India and Latin America was pre-released for the COP20 Lima climate change conference.

Go to the ITF urban transport projections (pdf)

Go to all Updates...

Road Safety | 06 November 2014
“The best in the world”: Celebrating 25 years of IRTAD road safety data

This week, the International Transport Forum marks the 25th anniversary of IRTAD. A household name in the road safety community, the IRTAD acronym stands for both a database and for the only permanent working group of the ITF.

 For 25 years, IRTAD has worked to improve traffic safety data, to enable more effective road safety strategies and save lives. Founded with 12 member countries as a database, IRTAD soon also brought together road safety experts and statisticians from research institutes, national administrations, international organisations, universities, automobile associations and car manufacturers. Today, IRTAD has 70 members from 35 countries.

Among the most impactful initiatives have been twinning projects, starting in 2008, to assist non-member countries in improving their national crash data systems. A successful twinning between Argentina and Spain led to the creation in 2011 of the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI), a co-operation platform for the directors for road safety from 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries. IRTAD supports OISEVI through the new IRTAD-LAC database. Other important IRTAD outputs include the Road Safety Annual Report and international conferences.

“Far too many people are dying or being seriously injured in road crashes in the world. We’d like to bring these numbers down”, said IRTAD group chairman Fred Wegman. “For that we need evidence and data. It is very good to see how IRTAD has developed into a world leader when it comes to road safety data. I thank all of our members, and this is also an invitation for others to join this network.”

Colleagues from partner organisations expressed their appreciation of the work done by IRTAD:

 “The IRTAD group and database are a model of a multi-country effort”, said Etienne Krug, Director at the World Health Organization (WHO), in a video message.

 ”Good policy making in road safety depends critically on data”, said David Ward, Director-General of the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP). “And the kind of crash and accident data that IRTAD had developed over the past 25 years is simply the best in the world.”

 Jean Todt, President of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), added: “The IRTAD group has become a unique institution. Many countries now see IRTAD membership as an important goal to achieve.”

Saul Billingsley, Director General of the FIA Foundation, said: “IRTAD has a really important role to play, not only in the traditional OECD countries, but also in helping low and middle-income countries, who are struggling with very high road injury rates, to understand what their problems are and how to solve them.”

Watch the IRTAD chairman's 25th anniversary message  (external link)

Watch partner statements on IRTAD’s 25th anniversary  (external link)

Go to IRTAD publications

Go to more information on ITF work on road safety

Corporate Partnership Board | 28 October 2014
ITF Corporate Partnership Board Projects Highlight Ways Forward on Looming Policy Issues

The findings of the first four projects launched by the ITF Corporate Partnership Board (CPB), the organisation’s platform for engaging with the private sector, were launched in Paris yesterday. The first round of projects provide input on a range of hot-button policy issues:

- Autonomous Driving
- Urban Mobility
- Mobility Data
- Logistics Performance

CPB projects are designed to enrich policy discussion with a business perspective. They are launched in areas where CPB member companies identify an emerging issue in transport policy or an innovation challenge to the transport system. Led by the ITF, work is carried out in a collaborative fashion in working groups consisting of CPB member companies, external experts and ITF researchers.

“Among the many insights from the first round of CPB projects are real eye-openers”, said ITF Secretary-General José Viegas at the presentation. “These reports will prove extremely valuable in stimulating policy debate in many countries and in many contexts.”

The current members of the CPB are: Bombardier Transportation, China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC), China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO), HERE Global, Kapsch TrafficCom, Meridiam, Michelin, Nissan, PTV Group, Total, SerTrans Logistics, Uber, Volvo.

Go to more information on the CPB and its projects

Go to photos from the CPB meeting 27 October 2014

Go to all Updates...

Road Safety | 01 October 2014
Towards Zero Road Deaths

Reducing road fatalities and serious injuries by helping governments to implement a “safe system” approach in road safety is the objective of a new ITF Working Group launched on 1 October in Paris.

The “Working Group on the Implementation of a Safe System Approach” will develop actionable policy guidance for countries who aim to improve their road safety performance and in the long run eliminate road traffic as a cause of death or serious injuries.

“Vision Zero” is official policy in a number of countries, as well as in cities such as New York or San Francisco. A key element of attaining Vision Zero is creating a “Safe System” in which responsibility for safety is placed not on the road user, but on system design: The road system should be conceived in ways that are forgiving of human error.

The group’s work programme will build on a previous ITF report, “Towards Zero: Ambitious Road Safety Targets and the Safe Systems Approach”, published in 2008. “Countries would like some further advice and guidance”, said Working Group chairman Iain Cameron (Australia) at the kick-off meeting. He said that a lot of progress had been made in the six years since the initial report, which could now be reviewed. “We can capture some of the progress [and] hear about the challenges”, Cameron said, “We can put that together and provide some support for leaders in the countries.” (see video for full interview)

The new ITF working group comprises 28 top-level road safety experts from 23 countries and from the World Health Organisation, the World Bank, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), the Global New Car Assessment Programme (Global NCAP) and the FIA Foundation.

The new working group will present an interim report in November 2015, coinciding with the half-way point of the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety 2010-15. The full life-cycle of the working group is two-years, and a final report will be completed by the end of 2016.

Go to more information on the Working Group on Safe System Implementation

Go to more information on the Towards Zero report

Go to all Updates...

Roundtable | 23 September 2014
Improved Policy Making Tools Reviewed by Experts at ITF

International experts at an ITF Roundtable on transport investment assessment have recommended:
- that governments use an audit approach during a project's development and delivery, on a model similar to that currently used in the UK;
- that policy makers and the public can better understand the economic benefits and expected outputs of transport schemes by using case studies;
- that further, more scientific, approaches to understanding causality should be used to appreciate the impact that any transport scheme ultimately has.

The ITF Roundtable titled "Ex-post assessments of transport investments and policy interventions: Prerequisites and methodological challenges" was held in Paris, France from 15-16 September. Chaired by UK expert Tom Worsley, the Roundtable brought together international experts to review practices, examine data and review the range of tools which can be employed. This is the first Roundtable for which ITF offers video-on-demand recordings of presentations as a new service. Presentations;
- TPICS, TIGER and US Experience - A Focus on Case-based Ex-Ante Economic Impact Assessment (Stephen Fitzroy, Economic Development Research Group, USA);
- Permanent Observatories as Tools for Ex-Post Assessment: a French Case Study (Alain Bonnafous, Laboratoire d'Economie des Transports, France);
- The National Audit Office’s Value-for-Money Assessment of Transport Investments (Geraldine Barker, National Audit Office, UK);
- Causal Inference for Ex-Post Evaluation of Transport Interventions (Dan Graham, Imperial College of London, UK).

Go to more information on the Roundtable

Environment | 15 September 2014
ITF Gearing up for UN Climate Change Summit
  World leaders will convene in New York for the UN Climate Summit 2014 next week. The summit called by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for 23 September is intended to catalyse action for combatting climate change. One of eight action areas identified is transport; the first time the UN has targeted the sector as a climate policy player in its own right.

Building on this important development, ITF is feeding its expertise into the UN process in multiple ways. The Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), of which ITF is a member, has been selected as an Energy Efficiency Accelerator by the UN's Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative. GFEI held an Accelerator Symposium in Paris on 5 September hosted by the French Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, and will be present at the Climate Summit in New York in the main energy session.

In the pre-summit week, ITF Secretary-General José Viegas is at the Asian Development Bank's Transport Forum in Manila, Philippines underlining the crucial role of the Asian economies and their transport policy choices for sustainable development.

On 22 September, Viegas will be in New York for a high-level summit side event with Michael Bloomberg, President of the C40 Group of cities and former mayor of New York, Achim Steiner, Executive Director of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP), and Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The focus will be on the contribution of rail to sustainable, low carbon development.

ITF is also preparing to support the work of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport. Following the appointment of Olof Persson, CEO of Volvo Group and member of ITF's Corporate Partnership Board, as co-chair of the Advisory Group, José Viegas met with Persson's senior staff in Paris to discuss potential ITF input. A second meeting is planned during the Climate Summit in New York.

Go to ITF work on environment

Go to information on GFEI and the recent Accelerator Symposium (external link)

Go to the UN Climate Summit 2014 website (external link)

Go to the ADB Transport Forum Website (external link)
Event | 10 September 2014
Improving travel time reliability brings tangible economic benefits
  Reducing uncertainty for travellers about the time it will take to reach their destination should become a policy priority for authorities. Research shows that the cost of unreliable travel may rival that of congestion, a topic on which transport policy has traditionally focused. This is the key message of a presentation by International Transport Forum (ITF) senior economist Jari Kauppila at the ITS World Congress in Detroit (7-11 September, Cobo Center, Detroit MI).

Shifting the focus from reducing travel time to reducing its variability implies a move from policies to build new infrastructure to better management of existing infrastructure, and to information provision for the users to enable better planning of the journey.

Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) play a key role in tapping the benefits of increased reliability of transport systems. A study on the A6 motorway in France showed that effective traffic management could reduce average travel time for a 20km long section by 12% and the buffer needed to account for variability by 45%. “Reliability represents a major network characteristic that should be recognised when considering investment options”, says Kauppila. “Reliability should therefore be incorporated into cost-benefit assessment.”

Go to more information on the ITS session (external link)

Go to Media Release on Improving Travel Time Reliability PDF
Environment | 01 September 2014
The cost of air pollution: Health impacts of road transport

Outdoor air pollution kills more than 3.5 million people a year globally, far more than was previously estimated.
Air pollution has now become the biggest environmental cause of premature death, overtaking poor sanitation and a lack of clean drinking water. In most OECD countries, the death toll from heart and lung diseases caused by air pollution is much higher than the one from traffic accidents.
The report "The cost of air pollution: Health impacts of road transport", presented by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at the ITF's Annual Summit on 21 May 2014, calls for a phasing out of tax incentives for diesel among its recommendations.

Go to the OECD report on "The cost of air pollution: Health impacts of road transport" (external link)

Go to ITF work on health impacts of cycling

Go to ITF work on health impacts of walking
Environment | 12 August 2014
ITF pledges support to UN High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport
  United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (photo) has announced the creation of a High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport. Over the next three years, the Group will develop recommendations on sustainable transport for the UN Secretary-General that are actionable on global, national, local and sector levels. The recommendations are intended to feed as transport-specific initiatives into a comprehensive sustainable development agenda for the time after 2015, the target date for the UN’s Millennium Development Goals.

“The creation of the UN High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport constitutes an important step towards focusing on transport as a priority building block for sustainable development,” said Viegas. “More than 40 years after the first oil crisis of 1973 and more than 20 years after global warming became a household word, transport is still 97% dependent on fossil fuels and produces almost 25% of man-made carbon emissions. The time has come to end this, because it is simply unsustainable.”

Viegas also pledged support for Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s initiative: “The International Transport Forum, which brings together the ministers with responsibility for transport of 54 countries, is prepared to support the High-Level Advisory Group in whatever ways it can.”

The Advisory Group will be co-chaired by Olof Persson, President and CEO of Sweden's Volvo Group, a founding member of the ITF’s Corporate Partnership Board, and Carolina Tohá, the mayor of Santiago de Chile. The 12 members are drawn from different parts of the transport community including public transport, logistics, the automotive industry, maritime shipping, railways, energy and urban planning as well as city officials.
Photo: United Nations

Go to the ITF press release

Go to ITF work on the environment

Go to the UN announcement of the High-Level Advisory Group on Sustainable Transport (external link | audio)

Go to UN information on the Millennium Development Goals  (external link)
Event | 18 July 2014
Putting Transport on the Latin American Investment Agenda
ITF Secretary-General José Viegas brought a transport perspective to the OECD’s 4th Conference on Investment in Latin America and the Caribbean in Lima, Peru on 7-8 July. Themed “Bridging infrastructure gaps through smart investment”, the event - co-organised by the OECD, the government of Peru and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and opened by Peruvian Prime Minister René Cornejo Diaz - explored the needs and opportunities for investment in the region, with a view to maximizing economic and development benefits generated by infrastructure investment. Mr Viegas moderated a panel on "Investment in transport – corporate strategies and regulatory challenges" (pictured) and was a discussant on the concluding panel, together with Colombian transport minister Cecilia Álvarez-Correa Glen.

In Santiago, Chile, Secretary-General Viegas met with Chilean minister of transport Andres Gomez-Lobo and Vice-Minister Cristián Bowen to discuss next steps for the implementation of the planned Logistics Observatory, for which Chile and the ITF had signed a letter of intent at the ITF Summit in Germany in May. Intensified co-operation in other areas such as ITF’s research activities and with respect to Chilean public transport projects were also discussed. In Santiago, Mr Viegas also met with board members of leading transport companies including LAN, the Chilean airline, and Ultranav (shipping and ports).
(Photo: ProInversión Perú | Flickr)

Go to Conference webpage | Conference photos

Go to ITF work on infrastructure
Event | 20 June 2014
Exploring Transport Options for Asian Cities
Many Asian countries are experiencing significant urbanisation and confront related transport challenges in their cities due to sprawl, congestion, pollution, safety and access. A joint seminar on 24 June in Tokyo organised by Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the ITF explored future policy directions in the context of the ASEAN-Japan Senior Transport Officials Meeting (STOM), which brings together the region's Vice-Ministers in charge of transport. In his keynote, ITF Secretary-General José Viegas emphasised the importance of smarter modal integration and land use policies. He particularly highlighted the ongoing conceptual shift from transport as a provider of mobility to an enabler of access. Viegas also underlined ITF's commitment to intensify relations with the emerging nations of the region.
(Photo: tokyoform | Flickr cc)

More on ITF Urban Transport work

Seminar Programme (pdf)
Cycling | 06 June 2014
ITF Stimulates Debate on Cycling in Canada
ITF's participation at Canada's Go Vélo Montréal Festival culminated in a keynote address by economist and cycling expert Philippe Crist on 28 May by invitation of Vélo Quebec.

Selected media following the event:
- Payant les vélos en ville ? | Radio-Canada | 28 May
- Vélo: Montréal doit s’inspirer de l’Europe | Le Devoir | 27 May
- Le vélo à Montréal en cinq questions | TVA Nouvelles | 28 May
- Pédaler à Montréal...Comme en Europe | La Presse | 27 May
- Comment rester dans le peloton ? | CiBL | 3 June
- Montréal, toujours capitale nord-américaine du vélo ? | CiBL | 29 May

More on ITF Cycle Safety work

Summit | 21 May 2014
Summit 2014: Session summaries, video, photo highlights online
  ITF's Annual Summit on "Transport for a Changing World" was from 21-23 May.

Session summaries including key quotes, videos, photos are online.
Roundtable Report | 13 May 2014
New ITF Report Reviews Global Experience in Airport Expansion
  The latest ITF report "Expanding Airport Capacity in Large Urban Areas" reviews international experience in reconciling planning and environmental constraints with demand for airport capacity and the potential benefits in terms of productivity and growth from developing international airline services. Experience is compared in London, New York, Tokyo, Osaka, Sydney and in Germany's main airports with particular attention to the dynamics of airline markets and implications for airport planning in multi-airport cities.

Access the report

Information on Ministers' Roundtable on Expanding Airport Capacity at 2014 Summit
Statistics Brief | 28 April 2014
Global Freight Data Highlight Continuous Dependency on Asia-led Growth
  The latest update of global freight data collected by the ITF through December 2013 reinforces Asia’s role as the locomotive of growth:

- USA and EU27 external trade, measured in tonnes of goods moved, remain stagnant;

- Dependency on Asia, especially China, for global growth intensifies;

- Brazil’s external trade by air, considered as a lead indicator, declines to below pre-crisis levels;

- Inland freight remains weak in the EU area, the USA and the Russian Federation.
Photo: Gavin Craigie | Flickr cc

Download the Statistics Brief for free
Discussion Paper | 24 April 2014
Ensuring Safe Travel for Women
  Safe travel for all road users is a prerequisite for ensuring sustainable and inclusive cities. Providing safe transport systems is an objective for sustainable transport, because risk of injuries and deaths from traffic crashes has become a major public health concern worldwide. Safe travel options for women in general and specifically low income women are important for addressing livelihood and poverty issues for a significant proportion of urban population in low income countries like India.

The latest ITF Discussion Paper presents data from the Indian capital Delhi (pop. 16.4 million) and Vishakhapattanam (a southern Indian city, pop. 1.7 million) comparing the travel patterns of women and men. The household survey in Delhi focused on low income settlements, since poverty adds another dimension to gender bias. The survey, repeated after ten years, shows that travel patterns remained unchanged. Women travel shorter distances, are dependent on lower cost modes - walking and public transport - and perform multi-purpose linked trips. In view of the sustainability requirements, lower mobility of women must be addressed by ensuring safe accessibility to employment opportunities by walking, bicycles and public transport. The paper concludes with possible interventions required to ensure safe and secure travel of women at land use planning level and street design level.
Photo: Meena Kadri | Flickr cc

Planning and designing transport systems to ensure safe travel for women
Commissioned for WIIT Conference 2014
Event | 16 April 2014
ITF Out in Force for Top European Transport Event
  ITF Secretary-General José Viegas delivered an opening keynote speech on Innovation in Transport at the plenary session "From Research to Deployment: a Driver for Job Creation in Europe" at the 2014 Transport Research Arena (TRA), on 14 April in Paris. TRA is the major conference on transport in Europe, bridging the gap between research and the market to improve European transport competitiveness, with over 3 000 participants expected. Mr Viegas  also moderated a session on "Urban Innovation and Change: the Dynamic Nexus of Transport, Environment and Health", in the presence of Khatuna Gogaladze, Georgian Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Protection, on 14 April.

Stephen Perkins, ITF Head of Research, spoke at the "Road Safety Economics: Highlights for Public Decision Making", on 14 April and also at the session on "International Co-operation in Transport Research" on 15 April. ITF Economist Jari Kauppila delivered a speech at the session on "Sharing Crash Modification Functions (CMF): an OECD Report Offers a World of Possibilities", also on 15 April.

ITF Head of Policy and Summit Preparation Mary Crass was moderator of the Gala Dinner of the Women's Issues in Transportation Conference on 14 April, attended by Jean Todt President of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and Michelle Yeoh, Global Ambassador for the Make Roads Safe campaign. Stephen Perkins was chair of the "Bridging the Gap Among Countries" session of the conference on 16 April.

A seminar on "The Impact of Distracted Driving and Fatigue on Road Safety" organised by ITF during TRA addressed the concerns for safety linked to use of mobile and on-board information in vehicles on 15 April.

More information on the Distracted Driving Seminar

TRA Official Website (external website)

Women's Issues in Transportation Conference (WIIT)  (external website)

Planning and designing transport systems to ensure safe travel for women. ITF Discussion Paper commissioned for WIIT Conference 2014
Event | 24 March 2014
Rethinking Urban Transport for a Changing World
  Policy makers face both challenges and opportunities from a rapidly changing demography and the advancement of information and communication technology (ICT). Changes in demography have been most noticeable in East Asia, especially in Japan, Korea and China. And the ICT revolution is rapidly changing lifestyles in these countries and elsewhere by enabling previously unthinkable levels of information exchange and connectivity. The transport sector needs to adapt to these changes and focus on the opportunities they present. Nowhere is this more evident than in an urban context, where rapid growth of cities poses enormous challenges for transport, but increasing connectivity is already becoming part of the answer.

A joint seminar this week in Seoul, Korea, organised jointly by the Korea Transport Institute (KOTI) and the International Transport Forum (ITF) at the OECD, takes a look at "Urban Transport for a Changing World" in an Asian context, with a focus on China, Japan and Korea. Experts from the three countries will present best practice cases for mutual benchmarking on 26 and 27 March, complemented by contributions from the World Bank and the ITF. The seminar’s findings will provide important input for ITF’s upcoming 2014 Summit of Transport Ministers, which will take place in Leipzig, Germany from 21 to 23 May. "Urban Transport for a Changing World" is the fifth seminar held jointly by KOTI and ITF since 2010, with a view to sharing knowledge and strengthen cooperation on subject areas of mutual interest. The first seminar in 2010 examined green growth in transport; in 2011, the focus was on promotion policies and critical evaluation of electric vehicles. The 2012 seminar explored seamless public transport for all, and the 2013 theme was funding transport.
Photo: tokyoform | Flickr cc

Seminar information on the KOTI website (external link)

Download latest seminar programme (pdf)

More information on past KOTI-ITF joint seminars

More information on ITF's 2014 Summit of Transport Ministers
Peer Review | 05 March 2014
Mexican Railways Peer Review Released
  The performance of the Mexican freight rail industry has shown continuous improvement since the creation of the current industry structure in 1995. A peer review of the country’s railway freight commissioned by the Mexican government and released by ITF today, notes that quality of management, technical quality of railway infrastructure and rolling-stock, capital and labour productivity, traffic levels and market shares have all improved markedly. The report calls this “a transformation in industry prospects that hardly seemed possible prior to the reforms” of 1995.

Traffic has since doubled and the modal share of rail freight increased by more than a third. Mexico’s railways now carry more freight than any railway in the European Union apart from Germany, and more than those of France, Spain, Italy and Austria combined and as much general freight as Brazil. Mexico’s main rail freight concessions are the most productive freight railways (if the mining sector is excluded) in Latin America.

To build on this success, the review recommends that regulatory institutions and capacity be strengthened to address pricing and capacity issues associated with trackage rights. More systematic data should be captured to allow the regulator to make determinations on these in an informed and objective way as regards risks, costs and benefits. This also applies to system structure and potential access and tariff regulation.

ITF Head of Research Stephen Perkins and Economist Aimée Aguilar Jaber presented the review to the Trade and Industry Development Committee of the Senate of Mexico on 19 February and at a Senate hearing with stakeholders on 5 March. The report was produced in close collaboration with the Ministry of Transport.
(Photo: Jims_photos / Flickr cc)

Read the peer review (PDF) Versión española

See Senate Transportation Committee presentation (PDF) Versión española

See media mentions
Research Report | 18 February 2014
Every Kilometre Cycled Benefits Society
The health benefits to society from cycling outweigh negative impacts by up to a factor of 20, according to ITF's latest research report "Cycling, Health and Safety". The report, published at a time when many cities are seeking to increase the share of cycling amidst concerns for safety, shows that the key to delivering overall benefits from cycling is creating a safe system through government policy and city action.

Among the recommendations for policy makers is the moderation of some urban road speeds to 30km/h or less, and the use of separated cycling infrastructure to increase the number of new cyclists. Attracting new cyclists gains the greatest health benefits through increased physical activity, including reducing risks linked to cardiovascular disease, obesity and Type-2 diabetes.

More information and access the report
Summit 2014 | 04 February 2014
International organisations meet at ITF to develop Summit 2014 themes
Each year in preparation for its Annual Summit, the ITF invites international organisations to its consultation day to hear priority issues related to the Summit theme. The 2014 consultation day, on the theme "Transport for a Changing World", was held on 31 January in Paris gathering over 35 organisations and providing a direct input to the content development of the sessions for the 2014 Summit.

More information

Photos from the event
Organisation | 21 January 2014
ITF Inaugurates New Platform for Co-operation with Private Sector
The International Transport Forum has opened a new chapter in its long-standing co-operation with the corporate world.  Twelve multi-national companies from seven countries met in Paris on 20 January to inaugurate the Forum's new Corporate Partnership Board (CPB) and set a roadmap for private-sector knowledge sharing with policy makers.

The CPB will serve as the International Transport Forum's mechanism for including expert knowledge from corporations in transport and related areas for policy analysis.  CPB activities will comprise the launch of policy analysis projects, events and publications on the basis of an annual work plan that will be agreed by members.

The CPB's founding members are Volvo (Sweden - automotive), China Communications Construction Company Group (CCCC, China - infrastructure), COLAS (France - infrastructure), China Ocean Shipping Group Company (COSCO, China - shipping), Ekol Logistics (Turkey - logistics), Kapsch TrafficCom (Austria - Intelligent Transport Systems), Meridiam Infrastructure (France - financial sector), Michelin (France - automotive), Nissan (Japan - automotive), PTV Group (Germany - Intelligent Transport Systems), SerTrans (Turkey - logistics), Total (France - energy).

The inaugural CPB meeting agreed on operating guidelines and created a standing committee to govern the board's tactical business under the chairmanship of the ITF Secretary-General. Corporate Partners will make proposals for the first round of projects by early February 2014, which will then be consolidated by the standing committee. Work on CPB projects is slated to start in March; presentation of first results is planned for October 2014.

The CPB is expected to grow from the initial twelve members to a maximum of 50 members over three years. It supersedes the ITF Advisory Board. The next plenary meeting of the CPB will be held during the Annual Summit of Transport Ministers in Leipzig, Germany on 21-23 May 2014.

"I am delighted that a dozen multi-national companies have agreed to become founding members of ITF's Corporate Partnership Board", said José Viegas, Secretary-General of the ITF. "I laud their entrepreneurial spirit and look forward to working with them. The corporate world is at the frontier of new developments in the transport sector, and the Corporate Partnership Board will help the ITF to integrate the cutting-edge perspective of business into our analysis even better and provide relevant evidence-based advice to policy makers."

Patrick Oliva, Senior Vice-President at Michelin said: "The CPB represents a very promising step forward in securing a confident dialogue between the public and private sector in the field of transport innovation. Tomorrow's transport requires not only audacious technologies but also forward looking policies, worldwide".

“I am very pleased to announce our cooperation with the CPB. This is certainly an exciting and strategically important task for us because the implementation of sustainable mobility solutions is based on a close partnership between the worlds of business and politics. We are looking forward to sharing our extensive expertise in the field of advanced intelligent transport technologies and contributing to the development of sustainable and innovative transport solutions,“ said Vincent Kobesen, CEO of PTV Group.

Declaration | 13 January 2014
Road Safety Experts Agree Recommendations for Data Collection and Analysis
The critical importance of better data to improve road safety has led international road safety experts from 40 countries to issue the "Buenos Aires Declaration on Better Safety Data for Better Road Safety Outcomes".

The Declaration recommends 12 measures for improving the collection and analysis of road safety data as a critical tool to design effective road safety policies. Among these are: the requirement for a minimum set of data for analysing road safety, which includes not only safety data but also contextual data; safety data should be aggregated at national level using a lead national agency; and the need to understand the relationship between road safety performance and economic development.

The recommendations are a result of the ongoing road safety work of ITF's International Road Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) and the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI), a co-operative body of Latin American countries for the reduction of road accidents by improvements in safety data. Better data is fundamental to achieving the objectives of the UN Decade of Action on Road Safety; a halving the expected level of road deaths by 2020.

Read the Buenos Aires Declaration on Better Safety Data for Better Road Safety Outcomes  Spanish version

Go to more information on IRTAD
Publication | 06 January 2014
Funding Urban Transport in London
In our compendium on funding urban public transport, ITF with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) looks at how the challenges of financing urban transport systems in the face of increasing urbanisation are being met in 10 cities of ITF member countries. These case studies highlight the diversity of local situations and needs as well as the important role of national governments in supporting resilient funding architectures. The third ITF member country city in the series, London, transformed the challenge represented by the expected fast growth in population and jobs in the next 20 years into an opportunity for establishing public transport as key driver of economic development and attractiveness of the city. This opened the way to ambitious programmes of development and modernisation of public transport in London. This is supported by a combination of funding sources, involving not only users and different levels of government, but also the beneficiaries of improved public transport in London, as well as innovative third-party funding arrangements. The case study examines the roles of various key actors (government, transport authorities and operators), funding systems and the opportunities and challenges ahead for the London region. 
(Photo: gmacfayden / Flickr cc)

Go to the Case Study Compendium
Statistics Brief | 19 December 2013
Shifting Economic Mass to Emerging Economies Shown in Global Freight Data
The latest update of global freight data collected by ITF through September 2013 reinforces the observation of a shift of economic mass to emerging economies:

- USA and EU27 exports increase strongly and imports decline markedly, reflecting weak domestic demand and stronger performance of emerging economies;

- EU external trade by air, considered as a lead indicator, rebounds above pre-crisis peak, indicating a potential improvement of the economic outlook;

- Road and rail freight data continue to point out weak domestic demand especially in the EU area.
(Photo: © Oktay Ortakcioglu/ istockphoto)

Download the Statistics Brief for free
Roundtable | 18 December 2013
First ITF Roundtable in India to Focus on High-Speed Rail
An ITF Roundtable on "The Economics of Investment in High-Speed Rail" in New Delhi on 18-19 December will deliberate the conditions under which investment in high-speed rail delivers positive economic returns. Experts will examine the key factors that drive the costs of high-speed rail investment and review the economic benefits. Papers will review experience in a range of countries that have developed large high-speed rail networks. Experts on the economics of smaller scale high-speed rail systems will also attend the discussions. ITF and international experts will join Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission of the Government of India, and Mallikarjun Kharge, Minister of Railways.
(Photo: Arnaud Lizeray / Flickr cc)

Go to more information on the Roundtable
Publication | 10 December 2013
Policy decisions are key determinant for more sustainable transport
The volume of global transport could double or even quadruple by 2050, according to a new study released today by the International Transport Forum (ITF), an intergovernmental organisation with 54 member states associated with the OECD.

GDP growth, freight intensity of economic activity and demographic change are important drivers of this growth. But key determinants for the level of future increases are policy choices, according to the ITF Transport Outlook, an annual report containing long-run scenarios for global transport activity and related CO2 emissions.

China and India drive transport volume growth, with traffic increases to between 4 and 9 times the present level. Across non-OECD countries, surface passenger transport volumes could be four or five times higher in 2050 than today. For the industrialised OECD area, surface passenger travel (measured in vehicle-kilometres) is projected to grow by 50-60%.

For surface freight volumes – i.e. goods transported by road and rail – ITF projections put growth at up to 430% in non-OECD emerging economies and up to 125% for the OECD area. With low GDP growth and a decoupling of economic growth and freight intensity, the growth figures there could be 100% and 40% respectively at the lower end.

Strong increases in transport volumes mean strong growth of emissions from transport. The baseline projection sees global CO2 emissions from surface transport grow by 80% by 2050. At the top and bottom end, the increase could be as high as 170% or as low as 30%. The outcome will depend not least on choosing the best long-term strategies to support growth and protect the environment. Policy choices are particularly important in the cities of emerging regions, as exploding urbanisation shapes global transport trends.

Go to the publications page
Working Group | 12 December 2013
New ITF Working Group on Sustainable Transport launched
Many countries have developed policies and initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions from transport to combat climate change. But which of these policies will be most effective over the long term? What are possible side-effects, and how can they be managed? Are the measures cost effective and how is effectiveness best measured? And not least: should policy makers focus more on supporting specific technological advances, for instance in fuel efficiency, or on broad policies, e.g. measures that influence modal choice and land use?

These are some of the questions that will be addressed by ITF’s new Working Group to Assess Policies for Transition to Sustainable Transport which kicked off with its first meeting in Paris on 12/13 December 2014. The Working Group will start with a review of different national approaches to assessing climate change mitigation policies. This will also involve evaluating their coherence with policies to reduce other emissions, such as NOx, PM or noise and include a look at approaches to assessing co-benefits, for instance in relation to oil security and green growth. Another objective is to identify limitations of cost benefit analysis for assessing emission mitigation policies, and to examine what additional analytical tools might be useful to help make better policy choices.

Chaired by France, the Working Group consists of 12 experts from ten ITF member countries (Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden and the United States). For the first meeting, they were joined by 16 invited experts, including from the International Monetary Fund, the OECD Environment Directorate and OECD Centre for Tax Policy as well as various research institutions such as the London School of Economics in the UK, the Laboratoire d'Économie des Transports in France or the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, among others.

Go to more information on the Working Group on Sustainable Transport

Go to more information on ITF work on Environment
Event | 05 December 2013
Mobilising Transport Investment for Green Growth
Mobilising investment in the land transport sector will be examined on 5-6 December at the OECD 2013 Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum in co-operation with ITF. The forum will explore solutions to how governments can improve their investment policy frameworks to reduce risk and attract long-term private financing in support of green growth. 

The land transport sector is set to see significant investment in most countries as infrastructure is renewed and adapted to growing populations and changing needs. Achieving reduction in green house gas emissions on the scale indicated by policy commitments will be expensive but necessary to deliver on green growth. Long-term investment in the transport sector is foremost a public sector issue since long investment cycles and payback periods often discourage private investment.

Incremental improvement in performance in relation to green house gases, air pollution and noise will be driven by vehicle regulations such as CAFÉ and EURO standards. Regular tightening of fuel economy standards has made the largest contribution to cutting CO2 emissions from the sector to date, and tax incentives (such as bonus/malus car taxes and differentiation of truck km charges) have been deployed to accelerate progress. The pace of change set by government regulatory time-tables will be a critical part of the policy framework for driving investment in cleaner technologies.
(Photo: VTrans Flickr cc)

Go to more information about ITF’s work on environment

Go to more ITF's Green Growth and Transport discussion paper (pdf)
Roundtable | 03 December 2013
ITF Provides Input on Urban Transport Policy for Mayors and Ministers
As governments across the world seek a path to more resilient, inclusive and sustainable growth, cities are reforming and innovating at an unprecedented pace and scale. Cities are increasingly creative in delivering basic local services and undertaking critical investments for the future, at a time of severe financial constraints and in response to broader global trends with enormous implications for the future of cities, such as climate change, migration and population ageing. Cities’ actions contribute to growth, but they are often undermined by a lack of coherence between national and city-level policies.

Improving the co-operation between national governments and cities to foster growth and well-being is the focus of the Fifth OECD Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers meeting in Marseille, France on 4-5 December. Building on previous Roundtables in Milan, Madrid, Paris and Chicago, this fifth iteration provides further opportunity for national ministers and city mayors to discuss ways of aligning national and local policies and help cities make the most of their potential. Discussions will focus on mobilising investment in hard and soft infrastructures, fostering innovation and strengthening environmental sustainability, financial resilience and social inclusion. ITF Secretary-General José Viegas will contribute input from ITF with respect to the critical urban transport dimension. ITF has produced a wide range of studies on urban transport issues such as congestion reduction, active mobility or regulation of Public Transport and has made the issue of urban mobility a recurrent theme at its Annual Summit of ministers of transport. (Photo: Jan Jacob Trip Flickr cc)

Go to more information about ITF’s work on urban transport

Go to more information on the Fifth Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers (external link)
Mission | 22 November 2013
ITF Further Strengthens Relations with Mexico
Secretary-General José Viegas discussed global transport trends and policy issues with Mexican Secretary of Communications and Transport Gerardo Ruiz Esparza and Undersecretary Carlos Almada during a top-level mission aimed at strengthening ties with the ITF member country on 19-20 November 2013. The strong interest from Mexico in ITF's research work was highlighted during meetings at the transport ministry with the Director General of Rail and Multimodal Transport, Pablo Suárez, Director General of Federal Road Transport, Federico Domínguez, Director General of Civil Aviation, Alejandro Argudín, Director General of Engagement with Civil Society Organisations, Adrián del Maz. Road safety was at the centre of a meeting with José San Martin, Director General of the Mexican Institute of Transport (IMT), a ministry research agency. Mr Viegas also presented ITF research to the Mexican Transport Commission at Mexico's parliament, the National Congress (pictured, from left, Fernando Maldonado Hernández, Secretary of the Transport Commission, Juan Carlos Muñoz Márquez, President of the Transport Commission, and José Viegas, ITF Secretary-General). He later met with Undersecretary Salvador Sanchez Estrada of the Ministry of Tourism.

The mission continues ITF's increasing engagement with Latin American countries which follows Argentina's joining the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD) and the first ITF Latin American Roundtable on Port Investment in Chile earlier this month.

Go to media mentions from the Mexican mission

Go to information on Argentina's joining IRTAD

Go to Roundtable in Chile on Port Investment and Container Shipping Markets
Awards | 21 November 2013
New Transport Innovation Award launched
The new Promising Transport Innovation Award will recognise an innovation with the potential to significantly improve the transport industry. The innovation can be based on technological change, operational change, organisational change or a combination of these.

In order to be eligible, the project must have received either financial or regulatory approval for implementation, or be in implementation for less than two years. The award is open to businesses, government and non-government organisations and individuals within ITF member or observer countries.

The Promising Transport Innovation Award complements the two prestigious annual awards already offered by the International Transport Forum:

The Transport Achievement Award recognises a demonstrated achievement of successful transport innovation that has brought about significant improvement in the transport industry and has been operational in the market for at least two years, but no more than five years. It is open to transport operators and other service providers, transport authorities, suppliers and manufacturers within ITF member or observer countries.

The Young Researcher of the Year Award (2013 winner Laura Schewel pictured) rewards creative reflection and analysis on the part of young researchers investigating the contribution of transport to the well-being of our societies. It is open to researchers under 35 years of age who have undertaken their research in an institution, university or consultancy firm within ITF member or observer countries.

Closing date for applications for all three awards: Friday 7 February 2014

More information on the Awards

Event | 15 November 2013
ITF Joins COP19 Effort to Combat Climate Change
Transport CO2 emissions in urban Latin America could be 34% higher than a business-as-usual scenario by 2050 should mobility there follow a private transport-oriented, high road-growth path. This forecast is based on ITF's Urban Transport Model which will be presented at COP19, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Warsaw, Poland this week.

In an alternative scenario based on the model, urban transport emissions in the region could fall by 27% over the same period, provided that long-term transport planning and policies translate into public transport-oriented, lower road growth mobility. The modeling results highlight the critical importance of decisions taken by transport policy-makers.

The ITF Urban Transport Model simulates urban evolution based on average agglomeration classes and allows modeling of mobility, modal shares and also of CO2 emissions, being fully compatible with the Mobility Model (MoMo) used by the International Energy Agency (IEA). It provides important input for ITF's annual Transport Outlook, to be published in the OECD Outlook series in December. In a next step, the ITF Urban Transport Model will be expanded to cover Asia, beginning with China and India.

At COP19, ITF will be joining the efforts for meaningful progress in climate change mitigation with two presentations. ITF economist Aimée Aguilar Jaber will showcase the Urban Transport Model during the side event on "Potential of Low-Carbon Transport". On 17 November, she will present the Forum's work on research priorities and better communication of potential C02 mitigation during a session on COP19's "Transport Day". (Photo: Juanedc/Flickr cc)

Go to presentation ITF Urban Transport Model (pdf)

Go to presentation Research Priorities and Better Communication for Mitigation Potential (pdf)

Go to an overview of ITF work on environment

Go to the COP19 website (external link)
Working Group | 14 November 2013
Argentina joins ITF’s Road Safety Working Group
In a big step towards better road safety in the region, Argentina has become the first Latin American country to join the International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD), the International Transport Forum’s permanent working group on road safety data collection and analysis. IRTAD is particularly renowned for its road safety database and its twinning programmes to improve road safety data collection as a key tool for guiding road safety policies.

In a ceremony in Buenos Aires on November 13, Felipe Rodríguez Laguens, Executive Director of the National Road Safety Agency of Argentina (photo: right), received a commemorative certificate to mark the accession of Latin America’s second largest country. IRTAD chairman Fred Wegman highlighted the importance of Argentina’s decision to make road safety a national policy priority. “Argentina is the first Latin-American country to take part in IRTAD, which makes it a reference for other countries in the region”, Wegman added.

Road Safety experts from around the world are meeting in Buenos Aires this week for a conference on “Better Safety Data for Better Road Safety Outcomes”, jointly organised by IRTAD and the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory (OSIEVI), an umbrella for co-operation among road safety authorities from 18 Latin American and Caribbean countries that grew out of the IRTAD twinning programme in 2011. To support OISEVI, IRTAD created the IRTAD LAC road safety database with a Spanish interface, recently highlighted at the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon as an important initiative for the improvement and standardisation of data collection methods and data quality in Latin America.

Go to more information on IRTAD

Go to the conference website (external link)

Go to the OISEVI website (external link)
Event | 12 November 2013
Transport Design with Everybody in Mind
The need to design tomorrow’s transport systems with a broad range of users in mind was the message delivered by José Viegas, Secretary-General of the International Transport Forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week at the 17th World meeting of the International Road Federation (IRF). At any given time, one third of transport users face some form of impairment of their personal mobility such as reduced vision or movement.  Accessibility should therefore be an integral part of transport system design, argued Viegas. All transport and land-use policies should take into account the needs of user groups such as the elderly or disabled. Designing transport for better accessibility – for instance improving door-to-door mobility by focusing on intra- and inter-modal links or designing pedestrian movements for safety and comfort - will benefit all citizens.  Despite the general benefits, accessibility is often treated as a marginal issue with low priority and addressed late or even as optional. Legal, regulatory and technical frameworks are rarely adequate, responsibility fragmented, coordination weak and monitoring/evaluation insufficient. But accessibility enhancements can only be successfully implemented if governments, local authorities, manufacturers and operators work together – and, most importantly, consultations with those concerned are an integral part of the planning process.  (Photo: Jacobo Tarrío/Flickr cc)

Go to José Viegas’ presentation “Design with Everybody in Mind”

Go to an overview of ITF work on accessibility
Roundtable | 07 November 2013
First ITF Roundtable in South America examines Port Investment
The ITF’s first ever Roundtable in South America is taking place n Santiago de Chile on 7/8 November. Jointly organised by Chile’s Ministry of Transport and Communication and ITF, international experts will examine “Port Investment and Container Shipping Markets”. Chile is ITF’s most recent member country, joining the organisation in 2012.

The widening of the Panama Canal for 12 400 TEU vessels and the introduction of even larger ships of up to 18 000 TEU on the busy Asia-Europe routes raises the prospect of major change in the global shipping market. The ability to accommodate very large ships has to be considered in planning new port developments, especially where there is likely to be competition between ports.

In this environment, aggressive yet sensible port planning is key to the sustained economic growth of exports-driven economies. The Roundtable, chaired by Mary Brooks of Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada will examine the broader issues that influence the development of container transport, with a focus on Chile’s plans for port expansion. Discussion papers prepared for the Roundtable are available for free download.   (Photo: Matt Hinsa/Flickr/cc)

Go to the Discussion Papers

Go to the interview with Stephen Perkins at the roundtable “Los puertos de Chile y Perú no competirán entre sí” in Diario Financiero

Go to information on previous Roundtables
Publication | 31 October 2013
Funding Urban Public Transport in Chicago
In our compendium on funding urban public transport, ITF with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) looks at how the challenges of financing urban transport systems in the face of increasing urbanisation are being met in 10 cities of ITF member countries. These case studies highlight the diversity of local situations and needs as well as the important role of national governments in supporting resilient funding architectures.

The second ITF member country city in the series, Chicago, has been able to mitigate the challenges of lower density growth through having an extensive rail and bus network, one of the USA's largest, providing a strong backbone on which core regional office and residential development can be based. However, problems of maintenance and infrastructure spending backlogs have been further hindered by lack of financial stability. Regional authorities recognise these issues and are seeking strategies to ensure long-term, high-quality public transport services in the region.

The case study examines the roles of various key actors (government, transport authorities and operators), funding systems and the opportunities and challenges ahead for the Chicago region.

Go to the Case Study Compendium

Interview | 06 November 2013
Interview: José Viegas on political actions that will reduce road deaths
In an interview with TheCityFix, ITF Secretary-General José Viegas urges governments to emphasise road safety as a national priority across federal, state and local levels as the only way to get results.

Go to the interview (external link)

Event | 01 November 2013
Conference: Better road safety data for better road safety outcomes
ITF’s International Traffic Safety Data and Analysis Group (IRTAD), the Ibero-American Road Safety Observatory (OISEVI) and Argentina’s National Road Safety Agency (ANSV) are bringing together experts from Latin America to improve the quality of road safety data at a joint conference on 13/14 November 2013 in Buenos Aires. The meeting is a big step towards facilitating knowledge transfer between experts from OECD and Latin American and Caribbean countries in the key policy area of road safety. The meeting will showcase recent initiatives to improve safety data collection and present new research and analysis undertaken by the IRTAD Group, including on speed and crash risks, forecasts, the link between safety performance short run GDP trends, and addressing serious injuries. Support for the conference comes from the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Development Bank of Latin America.

Go to the conference website (external link)

Event | 17 October 2013
ECMT: Happy 60th Anniverary!
ECMT 60th AnniversarySixty years ago, on 17 October 1953, Ministers from 16 European countries met in Brussels, Belgium, to create the European Conference of Ministers of Transport. The ECMT, as it became widely known, was intended by its founders as “a procedure whereby effective steps can be taken to coordinate and rationalise European inland transport of international importance”.

ECMT remains the legal core of ITF and maintains a number of European activities, such as the Multilateral Quota System. On the occasion of its 60th anniversary, the ECMT archive has been digitalised and is now freely available online on the OECD iLibrary.

Read more on 60 years of ECMT

Publication | 09 October 2013
Funding Urban Public Transport in Beijing
In our compendium on funding urban public transport, ITF with the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) looks at how the challenges of financing urban transport systems in the face of increasing urbanisation are being met in 10 cities of ITF member countries. These case studies highlight the diversity of local situations and needs as well as the important role of national governments in supporting resilient funding architectures.

The first ITF member country city in the series, Beijing, has seen tremendous recent growth with increasing car ownership rates straining the region's road networks. 240km of new metro lines have been built since 2008, multi-level bus services matching new travel patterns have been developed and active management of car ownership via a license plate lottery and zone-based parking charges introduced to tackle traffic congestion.

The case study examines the roles of various key actors (government, transport authorities and operators), funding systems and the opportunities and challenges ahead for Beijing.

Go to the Case Study Compendium

Working Group | 25 September 2013
Road Transport Group approves Quality Charter
ITF Working Group Chairman Thanos Vlastos at Walk21The ITF's Road Transport Group, meeting on 19-20 September 2013, approved the text of a Quality Charter for International Haulage Operations under the ECMT Multilateral Quota. It was also decided that the Group will work further on implementation and incitation mechanisms, linking the implementation of provisions of the Charter to Quota development. These mechanisms shall be approved and become operational on 1 January 2016, at the latest.

The provisions of the Charter set the highest standards in the domain of access to the profession of international road haulage operators, as well as initial and periodic training of international drivers across the European content. Thus these standards will be brought up to EU level for all 43 European ITF member countries participating in the Multilateral Quota system. The aim is to increase the overall quality of international road transport in Europe and further strengthen the image of the Multilateral Quota as a symbol of the highest quality in road transport in both environmental and social fields.

The Group also approved the text of the new User Guide on ECMT Multilateral Quota, which enters in force on 1 January 2014, following the introduction of ”EURO VI safe” lorries into the Quota. This Guide defines the operational rules of the Multilateral Quota, and establishes new certificates for the inclusion of the EURO VI lorry category in the system. The new certificates can be consulted at this link. The new Guide will become available on the same webpage shortly.

The Group also decided to establish a new Certificate of Compliance with Technical Provisions Concerning Exhaust and Noise Emissions and Safety Requirements for lorries with total permissible laden weight (TPLW) between 3.5 and 6 tonnes, in order to facilitate and harmonise control procedures for these lorries in Europe. The certificate will be established during 2014.

Go to information on the Multilateral Quota

Event | 17 September 2013
ITF pedestrian work showcased at Walk21 Conference
ITF Working Group Chairman Thanos Vlastos at Walk21ITF Pedestrian Safety expert Véronique Feypell (left)
Gunda Krauss, Citizen of Munich, on the
"Walking at All Levels" panel
during Walk21 Munich
ITF's Véronique Feypell, a member of the Walk21 Conference's Scientific Committee, provided pedestrian safety expertise on the "Walking at all levels" panel joined by the Mayor of Munich during the Conference in Munch, Germany last week. A pre-workshop of the ITF Working Group on Pedestrian Safety, Urban Space and Health and the European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) project group on pedestrians was organised at the conference to discuss new initiatives since the ITF's report on Pedestrian Safety was released. The ITF Working Group Chairman Thanos Vlastos also gave a keynote speech on the groups conclusions.

The Walk21 Conference, with the vision "to support, encourage and inspire professionals to evolve the best policies and implement the best initiatives, which create and promote environments where people choose to walk as an indicator of liveable communities", attracted 500 particpants from 40 countries.

Download the Pedestrian Safety, Urban Space and Health report from the OECD bookshop. version française

Browse a free copy of the report online.

Get information on the ITF Working Group.

See a video interview with Working Group Chairman

Event | 12 September 2013
ITF at the APEC Transport Ministers' Meeting


In preparation for the APEC Leaders' Meeting in Bali, Indonesia in October, the 8th APEC Transport Ministers' Meeting in Tokyo on 4-6 September focused on how to enhance connectivity in the region through high-quality transport. Connectivity is one of the priorities of this year's APEC Leaders' Meeting. Ministers agreed to develop a transport "Connectivity Map" that will visualise the ideal transport network for the year 2020 within the region. They will also develop a "Quality Transport" vision that encompasses convenience, efficiency, safety, security, and sustainability as priorities.

For the ITF, which participated as a guest, Secretary-General José Viegas reported on the ITF Summit on "Funding Transport" in May. Viegas emphasised the importance of trust between public and private partners for successful infrastructure projects, as well as the need to provide a steady pipeline of projects to diversify the risk of investing in large-scale projects. Generally, the focus of governments is shifting to better project selection, more realistic risk transfer and freedom to innovate.

Mr. Viegas held seven bilaterals, meeting with Minister Gerry Brownlee of New Zealand, the upcoming 2014/15 ITF Presidency country, and Minister Maksim Sokolov of Russia. Viegas also exchanged views with Senior Vice-Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama of Japan, US Deputy Secretary of Transport John Porcari, Vice-Minister Yeo Hyung-ku of Korea, Mexican Undersecretary of Transport, Carlos F. Almada, and Andrew Wilson, Deputy Secretary of Infrastructure and Transport, Australia. Three further meetings with top executives from NYK Line, Hitachi and Mitsui focused on ITF's new outreach mechanism for the private sector, the Corporate Partnership Board (CPB).

Go to José Viegas' presentation "Improving the Environment for Investment"

Go to APEC-TMM8 website