Over 170 participants took part at the 18th International Symposium on Transport Economics and Policy organised by the International Transport Forum ITF / OECD (Joint Transport Research Centre) in Madrd (Palacio de Congressos) on 16-18 November; The symposium was hosted by the Government of Spain through the Ministerio de Fomento (Ministry of Transport) and CEDEX, the Centre for Studies and Experimentation in Public Works. Main theme was “The Future for Interurban Passenger Transport - Bringing Citizens Closer Together”.
The symposium attracted an international audience of lecturers and researchers specialised in transport economy and transport policy, representatives of governments, international institutions and associations, transport experts and representatives of different transport modes. UIC was represented together with other stakeholders from the rail sector, in particular the Senior executives from RENFE and ADIF.
At the opening of the symposium Mrs. Concepcion Gutierrez del Castillo, Spanish Secretary of State for Transport, underlined the importance of this Symposium on Transport Economics and Policy as a world reference platform. Such a reference platform provides orientations for decision makers to define strategies et decide lines of action.
Mrs. Gutierrez del Castillo addressed in particular the issue of CO2 emissions in connexion with the COP 15 Conference to be held in Copenhagen and the fact that 25 % of global emissions are due to transport activities in the world. Therefore the attention must be concentrated on sustainable transport modes, energy efficiency, renewable energies. All national or international transport projects have increasingly to be considered as part of a transport system.
Jack Short, Secretary General of the International Transport Forum, underlined the role of the ITF / OECD Joint Transport Research Centre and its symposium that were founded 25 years ago to promote research in Transport Economics and Transport Policy whilst encouraging transition from the theory into praxis. A number of recent evolutions enlarged the scope of these research activities. The European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) was transformed into the International Transport Forum (ITF), the geographical scope evoluted from the European to a worldwide dimension (with increasing membership of leading countries from outside Europe). Studies and research activities were originally focused on ground transportation and now include all transport modes.
Presentations and debates focused on following sub-themes:
trends and developments in interurban passenger transport,
adapting the intermodal network to the passenger market: long-term planning and assessment,
competition and regulation of interurban travel: towards newegulatory frameworks?
transport system interactions and innovation,
sustainable interurban mobility.