ITEA President’s Message
May 10, 2021
Dear members and friends of the International Transport Economics Association,
It was ten years ago today that the International Transport Economics Association ITEA was formally created and registered as a society. Since its inception ITEA has contributed indeed to establish in a prominent place the economics of volitional flows in time and space. The annual conference and school, and our Journal, Economics of Transportation, have become references in the area. And this has been done with no concessions, simultaneously keeping rigor and good will, making constructive criticism, casual interaction, equations, data, models, music, answers to referees and conversations between students and teachers, coexist in a very fluid manner. This tenth years’ anniversary is the right time to acknowledge the contributions of all members in the community to make all this happen, be it as authors, conference presenters, reviewers, session chairs, and other forms of active participation.
ITEA has grown with empathy and intellectual strength. So there are many reasons to be proud of what the society has achieved so far, but this should be no cause to be self-indulgent but to continue the never ending task of contributing to knowledge, voicing our doubts, and disseminating ideas.
We have reasons to be optimistic in the middle of the complex situation the world is facing. As all of you know by now, the forthcoming school and conference is being organized in a virtual mode by our colleagues in Rome, headed by Chairwoman Tiziana D’alfonso, where a large number of papers has been received. This work presents new challenges as, for example, the need to account for the different time zones while organizing the sessions, the new role of session stewards, managing tools to facilitate interaction among attendants, making sure that technology is running as expected, designing how to intervene in case of “logistic” problems, and so on. This has required joint work between the Organizing Committee, and the Scientific and School Committees, chaired by Ricardo Flores-Fillol and Jos van Ommeren, respectively. Not a simple task but one that is being done with great responsibility.
The present health situation has created many very short-run problems that, paradoxically, will impact long-run research in the Economics of Transportation. The need to keep a reasonable distance between persons has made the issue of crowding in vehicles and housing density re-emerge with new strength. Virtual communication has reinforced the distinction between activities that can be made remotely and those that require physical presence, impacting on work and leisure activities. Thinking about these and other transport related dimensions with wisdom and a long-run perspective is indeed necessary.
So this message is to invite you to renew your commitment with ITEA as a place for illustrated interaction within the fascinating world of movements in time and space. You can do this by registering to the forthcoming Rome conference (and School), by submitting your contributions to Economics of Transportation, and by preparing your participation in the next conference in Beijing during 2022, which will take place in whatever format is feasible.
The tenth years’ birthday of ITEA is a good opportunity to welcome the new generations of transport economists, whom we would love to meet in person as soon as we can, and we hope that despite their virtual entry they will soon feel at home. It is also the right moment to thank the devoted work of my predecessors as Presidents of the Association: Kenneth Small, Robin Lindsey, Jan Brueckner, and Marc Ivaldi. They have been the real architects of this community.
Regards to all,
President of ITEA
August 13, 2020
Dear members of the International Transport Economics Association,
Due to reasons you all know, year 2020 begun with unexpected barriers on passengers’ travel, something that links with our research subject directly: crowding in vehicles has finally become a real issue, and the reallocation of time from travel to other activities is attracting increasing attention. These difficulties have also impacted some of our programmed activities, the main one being our Conference in Beijing, which had to be canceled.
Other planned activities, however, went as programed; in spite of everything we have renewed our Executive Committee. As a result the Committee now includes the following persons: Sergio Jara-Diaz (President), Maria Börjesson (Vice-President), Marc Ivaldi (Past-President), Ismir Mulalic (Secretary), Tiziana D’Alfonso (Treasurer), Esko Niskanen (Communications and web page), Eren Inci (Venue Committe Chair), Ricardo Flores-Fillol (Scientific Committee Chair), Sofia Franco, Yacan Wang, Anming Zhang and Andrew Smith.
So this message is to welcome all of you to a new period of activities where uncertainty will pay a role indeed. We have gained experience in virtual communication not only because of our teaching, research and professional duties, but also because of ITEA activities such as the virtual conference that was quickly organized this year by the Scientific Committee headed by Leo Basso in agreement with the Executive Committee headed by Marc Ivaldi, including a selected subset of papers submitted to this year’s Conference. The sessions went very well and were attended by a large audience.
The new Scientific Committee chaired by Ricardo Flores-Fillol, in charge of the selection of papers for the next conference in Rome during 2021, will be formed very soon. I hope that the world health situation evolves in such a way that in this conference (and in the next one in Beijing) we are able to ask-receive incisive questions in person. If not, we will plan as needed.
Because of the effective work of my predecessors ITEA is growing in terms of activities and membership, and the Journal has indeed established as an important reference for knowledge in Transport Economics. Growth brings new challenges in many dimensions, which I am confident that we will address effectively with the collaboration of its members.
Regards to all,
President of ITEA