In this Issue
1. “A PASS approach” – Research article by the WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force
2. Introduction to Topic Area H – Transport in Developing and Emerging Countries
3. Update – Activities done by SIG C1
4. Update – SIG B3 -–5th Interdisciplinary Conference on Production, Logistics and Transport
5. Update – SIG C2 – Workshop Series on State-of-the-art Traffic Signal Coordination
“A PASS approach” – Research article by the WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force
“Zhang J. (2020) Transport policymaking that accounts for COVID-19 and future public health threats: A PASS approach. Transport Policy, 99, 405-418” (Open Access) is now the most downloaded paper in Transport Policy. The paper presents a new policymaking methodology for addressing the impacts of COVID-19 and future pandemics, called PASS (P: Prepare–Protect–Provide; A: Avoid–Adjust; S: Shift–Share; S: Substitute–Stop).
Viruses causing pandemics are invisible. It is therefore crucial to make policies in a systematic and seamless way by involving various stakeholders. The PASS approach is in line with general system theories. The approach is proposed in the context of the transport sector; however, it is also applicable to other sectors. It emphasizes cross-sectoral collaboration and involvement of various stakeholders.
In the paper, more than 100 policy measures are proposed/summarized. The following are some examples.
• Prepare – protect – provide: Preparing guidelines, contingency plans, institutional design for pandemic policymaking, public participation and capacity building, development of protection and physical distancing technologies as well as post-pandemic distancing driven urban and transportation planning; Protecting transport service staff and users as well as vulnerable population groups via immediate economic measures, physical distancing measures and personal protective equipment, and health monitoring; Providing evidence-based guidance and information, financial and institutional support, and anti-virus services.
• Avoid – adjust: Avoiding inconsistent and less scientific policy decisions, crowded platforms and vehicles, and unnecessary and non-urgent trips; Adjusting policymaking processes, service operations and demand management, activity-travel schedules, logistic supply chains and so on for minimizing transport.
• Shift – share: Shift to pandemic-sensitive governance and service operation, modal shifts (especially for encouraging sustainable transport), shift to a lifestyle suitable to the new normal; shared mobility, shared operational resources (using public transport and taxi vehicles to transport both passengers and goods), voluntarily-shared responsibility (e.g., encourage family members of public transit staff to take sufficient physical distancing), and information sharing.
• Substitute – stop: Substitution of transport activity by virtual communication, substitution of face-to-face procedures by online procedures to minimize transport; stop of services with close face-to-face contacts, lockdown, and stay at home, stop of unsustainable lifestyles and business styles.
Prof Junyi Zhang,Hiroshima University, Japan
SIG H1 (Chair: Shinya Hanaoka, Tokyo Institute of Technology) newly launched in 2017 after merging three different session tracks in the Topic Area H: “Institutions, Governance and Capacity Building”, “Planning, Financing, Socio-economic Impact Evaluation” and “Regional and Interregional Transport”. SIG H1 focuses on the multi-disciplinary research of transport policy, planning and financing in developing and emerging countries. The policy aspects cover the institutional capacity; capacity building both government and private entities; governance structures; policy and decision-making practices; and pricing of infrastructure services, etc. The planning aspects cover how well transport infrastructure plans are integrated with overall urban, national and regional plans, as well as the economic plans. The financing aspects cover innovative financing and funding issues in transportation including road funds, cost-recovery from users, public private partnership, and local government finance, including fiscal decentralisation.
SIG H2 (Chair: Ashish Verma, Indian Institute of Science and Keping Li, Tongji University). It focuses on issues of infrastructure operation and traffic management in developing economies. It is a well-known and established fact that traffic behavior and characteristics in developing economies are fundamentally different than developed economies, especially in terms of, heterogeneity, non-lane-based traffic, little or no segregation, driver behavior etc. This requires fundamentally different theories and approaches to tackle infrastructure operation and traffic management issues in developing economies, including Traffic Theory and Modeling, Traffic Control and Management, Traffic Network and Analysis, Safety Analysis and Policy, Intelligent Transport System, Highway Capacity Analysis, Parking Policy and Management, Road Geometry and Traffic Flow, Travel Demand Management, Non-Motorized Transport Infrastructure operation, Public Transport Operation and Management, Quality Management (QM) in Transport and Logistics, etc. SIG H2 has closely collaborated with Transportation Research Group of India (TRG) and has published papers from its sessions in the journal Transportation in Developing Economies (TiDE), Springer. The last major physical activity of the SIG H2 was a Summer School on Governance and Mobility in March 2020.
SIG-H5 Urban Transport in Developing Countries (Chair: Varameth Vichiensan: Kasetsart University) is a joint-activity between WCTRS and CODATU, of which mission is to build capacity in the fields of urban transport and mobility in developing countries. As it is well accepted that the efficient and affordable urban transport and mobility for all are of prime importance for the developing world, SIG-H5 aims at transfer of knowledge and experiences (North-South as well as South-South), applied research and research capacity building in developing countries, and human resources development. As the economic and land-use characteristics of developing country cities are different from those prevailing in industrialized or developed countries, new and appropriate transport planning, engineering, and management approaches are required. Potential research topics of SIG-H5 include, but not limit to, traffic congestion mitigation, transport safety, land use/transport interaction, transit system for medium-size city, accessibility management, CO2 reduction, post-COVID-19 in the developing world. The past activities of SIG-H5 are special sessions at the WCTR conferences and CODATU conferences.
Prof. Meng Li, Topic Area Manager H
In March, Xiaobo Qu, Kun Gao, and Xiaopeng Li finished a report on SIG-C1 Transport Theory and Modeling entitled “Impacts of COVID-19 on the Transport Sector and Measures as well as Recommendations of Policies and Future Research”. This report summarizes the influences of the COVID-19 pandemic, reviews existing research results, and identifies future research needs in the scope of SIG C1 in the WCTRS.
Xin Wang, Xiaobo Qu, and Xiaopeng Li submitted a workshop proposal to the 2021 IEEE International Intelligent Transportation Systems Conference (ITSC) entitled “Workshop for Global Advances and Future of Testbeds on Connected and Autonomous Vehicles”.
This workshop aims at creating a global discussion platform for leading CAV testbed representatives across developing and developed countries, including the US, Europe, Asia, South America, and Africa. This workshop is expected to bridge the information gap among different testing methodology and protocols and present unique features and services of various testbeds.
Xiaopeng Li submitted two regular papers to ITSC. One is entitled “Long Short-Term Memory Network based Car Following Models with a Dimensionality Reduction Technique”. Another one is entitled “Automated Vehicle Identification in Mixed Traffic”.
In April and May, Xiaopeng Li and Xiaobo Qu will organize a workshop on modular autonomous vehicles virtually due to COVID-19. Xiaobo Qu will be organizing special issues with IEEE TITS and TR Part A.
Prof. Xiaopeng Li, SIG C1 Chair, University of South Florida
Prof. Xiaobo Qu, SIG C1 Chair, Chalmers University of Technology
On 17th and 18th March 2021, the 5th Interdisciplinary Conference on Production, Logistics and Transport took place in a virtual setting with great success. The ICPLT is a collaborative event hosted by the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Technical University of Dortmund, which focuses on actual drivers influencing economic, technical, environmental, and societal issues affecting production, logistics, and transport. However, this year's ICPLT was something special.
Due to the pandemic situation, the conference was successfully hosted and organized online by SIG B3 Chair Prof. Dr. Ralf Elbert (TU Darmstadt). He is part of the highly qualified scientific Conference Board, as is Prof. Dr.-Ing. Manfred Boltze (TU Darmstadt), Prof. Dr.-Ing. Uwe Clausen (TU Dortmund) and Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. mult. Hans-Christian Pfohl, whose research focuses on transport planning, traffic engineering, logistics, and network management.
This year, about 130 participants from all over the world were able to participate in the event. Presentations and subsequent discussions focused on topics such as "Promoting Intermodal Transport", "Freight Transport Modelling", "Transport Policy", and "Logistics Innovation Impact". Some special highlights of the event were the keynote by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Lóránt A. Tavasszy from the Delft University of Technology with his presentation "Freight traffic management as a service: a data-to-value living lab" and the keynote by Dr. Amr Mahfouz from the Technological University Dublin with his presentation "Supply chain resilience to business disruptions: Brexit implications on Irish food supply chains".
Globalization, increasing volatility, digitalization, and urban growth lead to an increased utilization of transport infrastructure and an even greater importance of logistics services. Consequentially, companies and the public sector need to coordinate their decisions to stay competitive. The basis for such coordination is an interdisciplinary approach in basic and applied research. The ICPLT provides a platform for interdisciplinary discussion, which is often still neglected. This kind of discussion helps to gain a better understanding of interdependencies and conflicts of interest between the areas of production, logistics, and transport. Accordingly, the presentations at the 5th ICPLT focused on these areas.
The Special Interest Group B3 Intermodal Freight Transport looks back on two very informative conference days with excellent scientific discussions and is looking forward to participating in the next Interdisciplinary Conference on Production, Logistics, and Transport. The 6th ICPLT will take place on 21st and 22nd March 2023 at the Technical University of Dortmund. The call for papers is expected to start in summer 2022.
Prof. Ralf Elbert, SIG C1 Chair, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
Prof. Felix Roeper, SIG C1 Chair, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany
The Special Interest Group on Urban Transport Operations (SIG C2) has organized an online workshop series on arterial coordination signal control. The first two workshops were conducted on December 11th, 2020 and January 26th, 2021, jointly with Tongji-WCTRS World Transport Research Center. The workshops included several presentations made by world-class signal control experts from seven different countries.
Traffic signal coordination is a method to provide the ability to synchronize multiple intersections to enhance the operation of one or more directional movements, which is one of the key techniques to improve quality of service of urban arterials. Several different approaches have been developed and implemented in practice in different countries under their own background.
During the workshops, experts from seven countries presented the state of practice in signal coordination, including Dr. Zong Tian, Professor of the University of Nevada, Reno, USA; Dr. Axel Wolfermann, Professor of Darmstadt University of Applied Science, Germany; Dr. Thomas Riedel, Manager of Verkehrs-Systeme AG, Switzerland; Dr. Wanjing Ma and Dr. Chunhui Yu, Professor and Research Associate of Tongji University, China; Dr. Takashi Oguchi, Professor of the University of Tokyo, Japan; Dr. Maria Salomons, Researcher of Delft University of Technology, Netherlands; and Mr. Daniel Suter, Principle Consultant of Transmax, Australia. The workshops attracted more than 150 attendees from 12 countries. Following the presentations, Q&A sessions were also held for exchanging the information among the audience. It revealed that signal coordination is done under either fixed-time or actuated control with traffic detectors, considering not only automobiles but also public transport or bicycles in some cases, depending on the subject road network conditions and strategies in these countries. Discussions also covered complexities of real-world implementations, importance and difficulties of quality management of coordination systems, and expected impacts of connected-and-automated vehicles.
At the beginning of the workshops, Dr. Zong Tian also provided a brief update on the publication of the WCTRS-Elsevier co-branded book series. SIG C2 is in the process of publishing the second book of “Global Practices on Road Traffic Signal Control” that focuses on urban signal coordination, following the first one about fixed-time control at isolated intersections <https://www.elsevier.com/
The final programs and presentations of the first two workshops can be found at <http://www.genv.nagoya-u.ac.
Prof. Keshuang Tang, Tongji University
Prof. Zong Tian, University of Nevada, Reno
Dr. Azusa Toriumi, University of Tokyo