What I brought back from TRB and TT

Earlier this month, I attended both Transportation Research Board Conference and Transforming Transportation Conference in Washington, DC. It was my first visit to both conference and Washington, DC, and in one week I learned a lot from researchers, administrators, practitioners and policy makers.

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For the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting part, there are some topics truly worth mentioning. The first one is sharing economy, which we covered last class. However, the topic is a little different from what we talked about in the class. The sharing economy here focuses on multimodal mobility. In another words, carsharing, like Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, Car2go,etc. But they do share the same goal, which is, shared value has the power to unleash the next wave of global growth.

Besides this topic, another topic I concerned is sustainable transportation. Although I know it is quite a big topic, anything can be involved in this area. I went to one session named Human and Organizational Considerations of Sustainable Transportation at the Country, City and Agency Levels. In one of those presentations, one presenter from University of Connecticut introduced relationship between human capital and transportation sustainability for the United States and selected European countries. Then the conclusion is that they found factors associated with a high level of human capital such as high health index, high education attainment and low poverty level were associated with high levels of transportation sustainability. So, in other words, high levels of motorization were associated with lower levels of transportation sustainability. Considering the case study mentioned in the lecture, it is quite a convincing point.

While in TRB, all you experienced always relate to new trends, new technology and new opportunity. That’s totally different from TT.

TT, Transforming Transportation Conference, held by world resources institute, EMBARQ and world bank group. This year’s topic is Sustainable Transport: From the Global Agenda to Local Action. There are so many recommendable sessions I would like to mention. But considering the word count, I would like to share some really good opinions.

“We need to engage our citizens. Citizens need to feel involved in creating mobility policies, and if they are not, we won’t make any progress.”

“We need to have policies that are not only accepted, but encouraged.”

– Roland Ries, Mayor of Strasbourg, France

“Transport planners need to focus less on moving cars, and more on moving people.”

– H.E. Francois Bausch, Luxembourg

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/Photo credit to WRI

What I recommended most is a research presented by 2015 Lee Schipper Memorial Scholar Gwen Kash, Socially Sustainable Transport. As far as I can remember, she identified user needs in Latin American Transit Reform, mostly from Bogotá, Colombia, Bolivia with a focus on quality of service that affect many formal and informal transit systems. Whoever listened to this speech will have a solid thought which is we should support cities worldwide implement and operate transport systems that are environmentally stable and materially improve the daily lives of individual users.

I would like to use Ani Dasgupta’s opinion in TT as the end of my post.

“It is vital to bring knowledge and practitioners together to create solutions for cities.”

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