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Newsletter March 2011

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the new look of the International Transport Forum! In the past months we have worked hard to bring into sharper focus what we do and how we do it. As an intergovernmental organisation of 52 member countries that strives to advance the global transport policy agenda; as a think tank for international transport policy that provides evidence-based research and analysis, data and statistics; and finally as the unique annual transport summit which, every May, brings together transport ministers from around the world with top business executives, leading academics and transport stakeholders.

Our rebrushed visual appearance is the outward expression of something deeper: the commitment to our stakeholders. We have endeavoured to make our website sharper and clearer. It will make our rich content more easily accessible as we develop it further. We are also starting new products, such as the Policy Brief and Statistics Brief series (see below for more), which will provide concise, in-depth input on topical issues that transport policy-makers face today.

And of course we are continuing to make the International Transport Forum’s annual summit the global transport event that no-one in the sector can afford to miss. The International Transport Forum 2011 on “Transport for Society” will be held on 25-27 May in Leipzig (Germany). It will focus on how transport can better serve each one of us, and increase its net contribution to society as a whole.

Ministers from our 52 member countries and beyond will be in Leipzig for this debate. This year’s speakers include Jeffrey Sachs, the top US economist and special advisor to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon, as will Jeremy Rifkin, globally renowned author of the “Third Industrial Revolution”. Industry leaders such as Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell, or Dieter Zetsche, CEO of Daimler, will be there to join the debate. And transport stakeholders from civil society will enrich the discussion in a much more visible way than in past years.

I warmly invite you to be part of the International Transport Forum's 2011 summit in May in Leipzig. Registration is now open, and an Early Bird discount is available until 30 April. Please follow the links below for more details.

See you in Leipzig in May,  


Jack Short

Secretary General 


International Transport Forum 2011: Practical Information 
► When? Wednesday, 25 May to Friday, 27 May 2011  
►  Where? Leipzig, Germany (60 train minutes south of Berlin) 
► Programme: The Preliminary Programme is available as a PDF in English, French, Spanish, German and Russian. The online programme is continuously updated  
► Registration: Early Bird Discount until 30 April. To register, visit the registration portal  
► Media: Journalists register here for accreditation. For enquiries,  
► Sponsorship: Sponsorship ensures high visibility at this global event. For information please contact Colin Stacey or +33 1 45 24 14 77) 
► Exhibition: For information about exhibition space and stands please contact Colin Stacey or +33 1 45 24 14 77) 
► Poster Session: Highlight your project at the Poster Exhibit. Consult our poster exhibit brochure or contact Michel Violland ( or + 33 1 45 24 87 13).
Statistics Brief: Transport Data and Analysis in Executive Summary Style
2011 March International Transport Forum Statistics BriefThe International Transport Forum is proud to introduce its new Statistics Brief series. The first issue examines the uncertain recovery in Global Freight Transport and was widely picked up by the media. The Statistics Brief is published in PDF format and presents data-based analysis of the latest transport trends by our experts. It focuses on global trade and freight, transport infrastructure, investment and maintenance, transport CO2 emissions, road safety and annual trends in transport. The Statistics Brief series aims to fill the void between terse press releases and full-blown scholarly papers. It provides in-depth, yet concisely presented data and analysis in executive summary-style. The Statistics Brief is published around eight times a year. It is intended for policy-makers, business executives, journalists, consultants and all transport experts with a need for quickly accessible, yet reliable and timely in-depth information. To receive future editions of the Statistics Brief please .
Transport in Figures
►  Household Spending on Transport: Review of data on household spending across the International Transport Forum member countries shows that transport accounts for a large share of household income, averaging around 10-15% of household expenditure. The level of income is one of the determinant factors of household transport spending: On average, the highest income households spend nearly two times more on transport than the lowest income quintile in the EU. See “Ten Stylised Facts about Household Spending on Transport” (PDF).
►  How People Travel: Recent surveys of travel behaviour show car access is still by far the determinant factor in overall mobility. Although people seem to make fewer trips, they travel further and spend more time in transport. Public transport services are used more among the younger population, the elderly, and those with low incomes. See “Travel Mobility Surveys: Key Findings” (PDF).
Used Cars Imports and CO2 Emissions: The Mexican Case
Used Car Imports and CO2 Emissions: The Mexican CaseImported second hand vehicles make up 50% of annual car purchases in Mexico in an average year. Progress in improving air quality and in reducing CO2 emissions from transport will require ways of influencing the quality of imported used cars. The Centro de Transporte Sostenable (CTS Mexico) organised a workshop in Mexico City on 10-11 March to assess potential measures with officials from Mexico’s Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Environment, the Transport Research Institute and the national Energy Efficiency Agency. International experts joined the discussions with support from the International Council for Clean Transport (ICCT) and the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI). The International Transport Forum and FIA Foundation are supporting this work with a study focussing on the potential value of four main types of measure: annual inspection and maintenance; differentiated circulation taxes; environmental conditions on imported second hand vehicles; environmental conditions for vehicle fleet renewal schemes if such schemes are re-introduced as a stimulus measure.
Climate Change: Improving Fuel Economy Standards and CO2 Emissions
GFEI Australia March 2011Ambitious yet realistic CO2 emission standards for Australia were at the centre of conference hosted by the Australian Department for Infrastructure and Transport in Melbourne (Australia) on 2-4 March. The International Transport Forum assembled experts and regulators from around the world to advise on the design of regulations to be proposed later this year. The day-long event examined experience in the detailed formulation and impact assessment of fuel economy and CO2 emission regulations in the EU and USA to provide Australian policy makers and industry with strategic information and tools to assist with the formulation of cost-effective standards. More information on the conference, jointly organized with the International Transport Forum’s partners in the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), the Low Emission Vehicles Automotive Partnership (LEV) and the Royal Victoria Automobile Club (RVAC), is available on the GFEI website
Transportation Research Board 2011: Liveability and Economic Development
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 90th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., attracted 10 900 transport professionals from around the world, making it probably the largest transport meeting in the world. Of the more than 650 sessions and workshops more than 85 spotlighted the theme for 2011, “Transportation, Liability, and Economic Development in a Changing World”. The International Transport Forum again has a strong presence, contributing a whole host of papers, events and other inputs on key themes:
► International Benchmarking on Road Safety was the focus of a joint session organised by the International Transport Forum and the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Experts from the IRTAD Group on Road Safety Data presented safety trends in OECD/International Transport Forum countries in 2009 and 2010. The remarkable decrease in road fatalities in the United States in the last couple of years and the benefits of benchmarking were emphasised. The underreporting of crashes, and current work on linking police and hospital data to better assess the real number of casualties was also discussed. Finally, the World Bank presented the co-operation programme set up with the IRTAD Group to assist low and middle income countries in improving safety data collection and analysis.
► Transferability of Crash Modification Factors was the topic of another workshop co-organised by the International Transport Forum during the TRB. Many countries share the need for more reliable estimates of the effectiveness of road safety treatments and strategies (often referred to as crash modification factors, CMFs). CMFs constitute an essential element of any efficiency assessment. The development of reliable estimates is costly and time consuming, thus placing a burden on countries to develop full sets of measures independently of other countries. The International Transport Forum’s Working Group on Road Safety and the Transportation Research Board are seeking to harmonize and improve research on CMFs and maximize their transferability. The workshop, designed to engage an international audience to share knowledge and progress on related efforts brought together c. 60 participants from around the world.
► Travel Time Reliability: World View and SHRP 2. Despite its importance, only few countries explicitly incorporate reliability into transport policy making, as a review of policies in the recent International Transport Forum study on transport reliability shows. Reliability is rarely factored into cost-benefit analysis, the core planning tool for surface transport networks. Still, if a project argues for reliability benefits but has not been able to separate impacts of the investment on average travel time and variability in travel time, then the policy is actually without basis. During a joint International Transport Forum and SHRP 2 workshop at the TRB, about 90 researchers and decision makers from around the world examined recent research results on reliability issues both internationally and in the Transportation Research Board SHRP 2 reliability focus area.
► Global Data Initiative: Better data will help with planning investments in the transport sector and foster a better understanding of impacts of transport. The kick-off for a global data initiative within the Partnership on Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) and including other international bodies that are collecting transport data, was held at the TRB. Data collection was also a focus of the World Bank’s Transforming Transportation 2011 event, where the International Transport Forum provided input in a session that reviewed collecting, analyzing and documenting transport data in developing countries.
► Poster Session contribution by the International Transport Forum at TRB was a paper on “Managing Highways for Better Reliability: Assessing Reliability Benefits of Ramp Metering” by Jari Kauppila and Neïla Bhouri (IFSTTAR/GRETTIA)
TRID Database launching TRID Database launched: A new resource for transport experts was officially launched by the International Transport Forum’s Research Centre and the Transportation Research Board on 23 January. The TRID database offers online access to global transportation knowledge providing one source to locate research from around the world, with records in English, French, German and Spanish and more than 900 000 records of published and on-going research. Free access to TRID is provided at http://trid.trb.org
► "50by50, Prospects and Progress" is the title of the new report presented during the TRB by the Global Fuel Economy Initiative (GFEI), of which the International Transport Forum is a member. The launch event featured a keynote presentation by author George Eads. In his study, Eads examines whether targeted 50% improvement in fuel economy by 2050 is realistic and assesses progress made. The event was organised jointly with the other GFEI partners, namely FIA Foundation, International Energy Agency (IEA) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
New Publications
Green Growth and Transport, International Transport Forum Green Growth and Transport International Transport Forum, Discussion Paper 2011-02
►  Stimulating Low-Carbon Vehicle Technologies (International Transport Forum,  Roundtable 148)
Discover more International Transport Forum publications here
Upcoming Events
► 23-25 March: Velo-City (Sevilla, Spain) Velo-City is the world congress for the promotion of cycling as an important means of urban transport. It is co-organised by the European Cyclist Federation (ECF) and the City of Sevilla. More information at www.velo-city2011.com
► 10-14 April 2011: 59th UITP Congress and Exhibition (Dubai, UAE) Public transport and urban mobility policies that provide attractive alternatives to cars will be the focus of the annual conference of the International Union of Public Transport Association. More information at www.uitpdubai2011.org
► 25-27 May 2011: International Transport Forum 2011: “Transport for Society” Transport Ministers from 52 International Transport Forum member countries and beyond will meet with leaders from industry, research and civil society in Leipzig (Germany) to debate the future of transport and how to improve the sector’s net benefits for individuals and society as a whole. More information at www.internationaltransportforum.org/2011
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