WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force

Connecting to the WCTRS website: here

WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force was established in early April 2020. It aims to investigate the impacts of COVID-19, to clarify what our society had prepared for such a pandemic, to reveal what measures our society is currently taking to fight against this pandemic, to suggest what our society should do after this pandemic and how to generalize the findings from the above tasks to tackle the next waves of COVID-19 and future pandemics. Soon after its establishment, the Task Force immediately took actions to announce “President Messages” and Taskforce’s “Appeals” and to conduct a worldwide expert survey.

Detailed activities are reported below.

[Welcome your inputs] The WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force is collecting information about research on COVID-19 (and other pandemics) in the field of transport, logistics, supply chain, regional and urban planning, tourism, etc. If you have done relevant research, we appreciate your answering the following survey form. If you have not, we appreciate your forwarding this message to those persons, you know, who might have done relevant research. The survey contents are very simple: here.

Chair & Co-chair

Chair of WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force

  • Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Immediate Ex-President of WCTRS; Member of Executive Committee, The Club of Rome; Distinguished Professor & Director, Center for Sustainable Development and Global Smart City, Chubu University, Japan

Co-Chair of WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force

  • Junyi Zhang, Prof., Mobilities and Urban Policy Lab, Graduate School of Advanced Science and Engineering, Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation; Director of Center of Asian Sustainable Mobility Research (ASMO Center), Hiroshima University, Japan; A member of The Engineering Academy of Japan

Key activities/events/achievements

  1. (News! June 3, 2021) Our task force just implemented a follow-up expert survey in April-May 2021. Some immediate results can be found: here.
  2. (News!) The WCTRS expert survey paper has been the most downloaded paper in Transport Policy (Accessed on May 8, 2021).
  3. (News!) The PASS approach paper had been the most downloaded paper in Transport Policy for months (Accessed on March 15, February 25, 2021).
  4. Apr 2020: Released two sets of policy recommendations {WCTRS President’s Messages; WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force Chair’s Appeal}
  5. May 2020: Released a report based on a worldwide expert survey {Zhang, J., Hayashi, Y. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and measures as well as recommendations of policies and future research: Analyses based on a world-wide expert survey (May 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3611806} [284 experts – WCTRS: 81; China transport groups: 63; TRB: 55; EASTS: 44; Japan transport groups: 20; South Korea transport groups: 16; ADBI: 5]
  6. May-Aug 2020: Country-reports, Topic-reports
  7. Sep-Oct 2020: two calls for Virtual Special Issues (VSI) in the journal Transport Policy {Sep 2020: “Impacts of COVID-19 and Other Pandemics on the Passenger Transport Sector and Policy Measures (under edition)”; Oct 2020: “Impacts of COVID-19 and Other Pandemics on the Freight Transport, Logistics and Supply Chains, and Policy Responses”}
  8. Oct-Dec 2020: Proposal of an Elsevier book titled “Transportation Amid Pandemics: Practices and Policies” (editors, Junyi Zhang & Yoshitsugu Hayashi). The book is scheduled to be published in June 2021.
  9. Dec 7-11, 2020: Organized the first pandemics conference in the transport sector “International e-Conference on Pandemics and Transport Policy (ICPT2020)

COVID-19 Research Projects in the world

Please report your research project on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Transport and Logistics (a survey by WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force): here.


International Coordinators

  • Greg Marsden, Secretary General of WCTRS; Prof., ITS, University of Leeds, UK
  • K.E. Seetha Ram, Dr. Eng., Senior Consulting Specialist, Asian Development Bank Institute
  • Holger Dalkmann, Founder and CEO of Sustain 2030, Germany
  • Lori Tavasszy, Prof., Technical University of Delft, The Netherlands

Country coordinators

  • Australia: Hitomi Nakanishi, Assoc. Prof., Canberra University; Peter John Forsyth, Adjunct Prof., Monash University
  • China: Yacan Wang, Prof., Beijing Jiaotong University, China;
  • India: Dr. Senathipathi Velmurugan, Senior Principal Scientist, Former Head, Traffic Engineering and Safety Division, CSIR – CRRI (Central Road Research Institute); Dr. Padma Seetharaman, Principal Scientist, Transportation Planning Division, CSIR – CRRI; Dr. Mukti Advani, Principal Scientist, Transport Planning and Environment Division, CSIR– CRRI
  • Italy: Francesca Pagliara, Prof., University of Naples Federico II
  • Japan: Saori Kashima, Assoc. Prof., Hiroshima University; Hiroyoshi Morita, Nippon Engineering Consultants, Chubu University; Akito Murayama, The University of Tokyo; Shinichiro Nakamura, Assoc. Prof., Nagoya University; Hiroyuki Takeshi, Senior Assistant Prof., Chubu University; Runsen Zhang, Assis. Prof., Hiroshima University
  • Thailand: Varameth Vichiensan, Assoc. Prof., Kasetsart University; Apiwat Ratanawaraha, Assoc. Prof., Chulalongkorn University
  • Turkey: Fusun Ulengin, Prof., Sabanci Business School; Ozay Ozaydin, Assis. Prof., Dogus University
  • UK: Chikage Miyoshi, Reader, Cranfield University, UK
  • USA: Yinhai Wang, Prof., University of Washington, USA; Junko Sugawara, Assoc. Prof., University of Houston; Giovanni Circella, Honda Distinguished Scholar for New Mobility Studies, and Director, 3 Revolutions Future Mobility Program, University of California, Davis

Topic coordinators

  • Activity and Transport Demand: Bhargab Maitra, Prof., IIT Kharagpur, India; Juan A. Carrasco, Assoc. Prof., Universidad de Concepción, Chile
  • Freight Transport and Logistics: Thierry Vanelslander, Prof., University of Antwerp, Belgium; Kun Wang, Assoc. Prof., University of International Business and Economics, China; Ralf Elbert, Prof., Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany; Felix Roeper, Research Assistant, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany
  • Public Transport: Takeru Shibayama, Project Assistant, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Traffic Management, Operations and Safety: Xiaobo Qu, Prof., Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; Xiaopeng Li, Assoc. Prof., University of South Florida, USA; Ashish Bhaskar, Assoc. Prof., Queensland University of Technology, Australia; Wael Alhajyaseen, Assis. Prof., Qatar University, Qatar
  • Transport, Land-use and Sustainability: Haixao Pan, Prof., Tongji University, China; Wei-Shiuen Ng, Advisor – Sustainable Transport and Global, International Transport Forum, OECD
  • Transport Planning and Policy: Stephen Ison, Prof., De Montfort University, UK; Guenter Emberger, Prof., Vienna University of Technology, Austria


  • Tae Oum, President of WCTRS; Emeritus Prof., University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Werner Rothengatter, Ex-President of WCTRS, Emeritus Prof., Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany

Contact persons

  • Prof. Junyi Zhang, Co-Chair of WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force
  • Prof. Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Chair of WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force

WCTRS President’s Messages

The World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS) has formed a Task Force of leading academics and experts in the field of transport and logistics (TLOG). We recognize the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our society and global economy, especially on all aspects of transport and logistics. Our task force took the initiative to formulate constructive recommendations for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and to suggest some principles by which to allocate the enormous scale of fiscal and monetary stimulus funds to various sectors of the economy including the TLOG sector which encompasses airlines, airports, urban transit, shipping, ports, freight and supply chain, transport infrastructure, etc.

The COVID-19 crisis is clearly the biggest social and economic shock since the Great Depression. This will bring significant changes to the ways we live, work, do business and trade. Since transport networks and services (air, sea, land, urban and rural) are critical enablers of business activities, their prompt recovery and efficient functioning are extremely important to enable the economy to recover from this catastrophic down turn.

Transport systems affect spatial distribution of population and economic activities and have both positive external effects (e.g., transport connectivity) and negative external effects (CO2 emissions and global warming). Therefore, it is not easy to predict the long-run effects of COVID-19 disruptions in transport systems on the economy. Based on our research expertise and experience, we collectively decided to formulate a set of key recommendations to policy makers and politicians responsible for determining the size and form of fiscal and monetary stimulus funds allocated to industry, government, academia and other TLOG sectors. Each of our recommendations stated below requires significant additional resources.

If necessary and/or called upon, our transport, logistics, and supply chain experts of the WCTRS are willing to discuss and/or work with the policy and decision-makers in the governments, international and national organizations, and private sector firms. We can be reached at www.wctrs-society.com

List of Recommendations 

1. How to decide on the best timing to start and remove lockdowns

There is a real trade-off between the timing (beginning and ending) of the lockdown and impacts on economic activities and health outcomes. If a nation (province, state, city) removes lockdown too early, there is a higher risk of the Corona Virus resurgence while society regains short-term business and social activities. Here are some useful guides to the decision-makers of the lockdown periods:

  • Pro-business decision-makers (President, Prime Minister, Governor or Mayor) will typically choose a shorter lockdown duration than is socially optimal because he/she may discount ‘external’ costs of spreading virus to other groups. Since spreading virus to others are ‘externalized’ costs, each of us impose to others (especially because we don’t know who carries the virus), the socially optimal lockdown period should be always longer than what the business community wants.
  • This external cost (of spreading the virus) is more serious in larger cities where many people rely on mass transit and share crowded spaces, one virus carrier can easily spread it to many others. Therefore, in larger cities the socially optimal lockdown period is far greater (longer) than is likely to the case in outlying areas and in smaller cities.
  • Where access can be controlled between areas, it is possible to set different lockdown periods instead of setting a uniform lockdown period for a whole country or state (province).

2. Government leaders need to worry about increased private vehicle dependence being sustained after lockdown periods end. It is important for governments to prepare transit firms/authorities to deal with this issue in the following ways:

  • Transit services need to be improved to allow physical distancing during pandemic and ability to return to normal service post pandemic;
  • On-going promotion of telecommuting (working from home) even as restrictions are eased so that only necessary travel occurs;
  • Programmes of staggered commuting times (e.g., not all organizations start their work at 9:00 am) are considered to lower peak hour demands;
  • Resist pressure for reduced parking fees. Where necessary raise charges to manage demand and keep public space safe for walking and cycling with safe social distancing; and
  • Support public transport with subsidy to recognise the health and climate benefits it provides and the critical social service it provides for key workers.

3. Increased role of active transportation

Active transportation improves public health, supports transit, and reduces GHG emissions. Several cities are re-appropriating road space to cycling and pedestrians on surface streets to provide sufficient safe space for recreational and utilitarian travel.

  • Reallocate road space to accommodate active transportation and support safe social distancing
  • Support e-bikes to enable longer distance traveling
  • Demonstrate ongoing health and GHG reduction benefits of increased accommodation of bikes and pedestrians post-pandemic

4. Role of the government in the transport firms in which they invest;

This COVID-19 crisis demonstrates vividly that governments are the powers of last resort to make sure that the private sector markets function when facing the scale of natural/economic disasters that no insurance firms can deal with. As a result, necessarily the decision makers in governments have enormous power to exercise to the extent that they can decide which firms survive, and which firms should go bankrupt or be liquidated. After the initial crisis is over, the politicians/bureaucrats are likely to develop temptation to exercise their power over the private sector firms in which the government owns significant portions of their shares and/or bonds. Such government power may lead to inefficiency and/or corruptive practices. We make the following suggestions:

  • Governments should purchase ‘non-voting’ shares rather than purchasing bonds. Non-voting shares make it difficult for the government to take over the firm or change the Chief Executive Officer. Critically, the government can recover some returns to taxpayers’ money by selling those shares at a higher price later. [For example, Delta Airlines and the US Treasury recently agreed on a $1.6 billion 10-year low-interest loan in exchange for the warrants that allows the government to acquire about 1% of Delta’s non-voting stock at $24.39 over five years so that the taxpayers may get profits from this risk-taking. The airline bailout package in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks resulted in the U.S. government making $130 million profit for the taxpayers after airlines recovered their profitability. Non-voting share bailout package deals appear to be a good practice to follow.]

5. Priority on resource allocations to transport sector

As discussed in Recommendation 2 above, governments need to prepare for transit systems to satisfy the social distancing needs in the transition period and in the post-pandemic so that not too many people turn to automobile driving:

  • Since transport is an enabler of all economic activities including travel, tourism and trade, it is important that the transport firms and organizations need to get ready to initiate services as soon as the current pandemic is over by retaining their key employees on their payroll and government support schemes should enable this.
  • Numerous studies show how increased transport connectivity (air, rail, land, sea) generates positive economic benefits to the society/country including essential services to remote communities. Careful understanding of how best to allocate fiscal and monetary stimulus funds is required to ensure transport services remain viable. In this sense, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s current practice of buying municipal bonds may leave pressures off from the city budget crunch. However, a lot more input from the new infrastructure budget may need to be allocated to improve urban transit services suitable to the post-pandemic service requirements.

6. An important longer-term issue

The lockdown and social distancing requirements made us do far less automobile driving, which has had unprecedentedly high environmental side benefits. We expect that the new normal in the post- COVID-19 will be significantly different from before. There are those who argue that it could be more car dependent and those who suggest it is a major opportunity for more local living and virtual communications to replace longer trips. The outcomes we see will be the result, in significant part, of the policy choices we make over the coming months and years. This is clearly a unique and rare opportunity for the policy makers and transport researchers to work together to seize the momentum to devise new policies in order to change our everyday living and choices toward more environmentally sustainable life and work.

WCTRS COVID-19 Task Force: Appeal

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread rapidly across the world. We have already seen a huge number of infections and lost many valuable lives. This has become the biggest challenge to human society since the Spanish Flu in 1918, over a century ago. Now in the twenty-first century, the whole world is connected to each other by much more convenient transport systems and information networks than at any time in history.

The transport sector has been deeply affected by COVID-19 pandemic. On the one hand, it unintentionally contributed to the spread of the virus through passenger travel, while the disruption to supply chains undermined economic activities in some sectors. On the other hand, transport is an integral part of solutions to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19, for example through the delivery of humanitarian goods and services and to facilitate resilient supply chains for the recovery phase. The World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS), the largest and most comprehensive academic society of transport in the world, has established a Task Force to investigate the impacts of COVID-19 and support emergent policy decisions on ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and maintain supply chains for the survival of industries and lifelines for citizens’ daily life.


The risks in transport are diverse, from international to urban transport and logistics, and from infrastructure to economy and daily life, as shown below.

  1. Airlines can transport infected passengers from one side of the world to the other, within half a day.
  2. Passengers in crowded public transport are more at risk of infection than automobile users.
  3. It may be recommended for citizens to temporarily shift from public transit to cars to avoid the risk of infection. However, this may become a permanent change in transport behavior even after COVID-19 has been eradicated.
  4. When gathering for events, people may be cautious about crowd density in the event venue but may not recognize the high risk of infection during travel to the gathering.
  5. Reduction of passengers may bankrupt the transport and tourism industries, thus worsening the regional and national economy.
  6. Infections among operational staff and reduction of transport services will lead to the collapse of supply chains and consequently lower the productivity of industries.
  7. Lockdowns have increased pressures on the supply chains of vital goods for medical care and for citizens’ daily life.
  8. There is increasing evidence of health risks to staff providing essential transport services.
  9. In developing countries, paratransit and other informal transport services are very popular because of their low fares and flexibility, but both passengers and drivers face high risks of infection because drivers are poorly equipped and operate in close proximity to passengers.


  1. To allocate enough resources to allow airlines to immediately reduce flights, which will help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and enable a responsible and safe transition in the recovery process.
  2. To financially support the deficit facing the transport and logistics industries, which are lifelines for regional economies and citizens’ daily life and health.
  3. To take immediate measures to sanitize public transport vehicles/facilities and maintain safe loading factors for different vehicles at different levels of virus management.
  4. To financially support public transport service providers and their employees, as well as service users, by subsidizing services during the transition from lockdown restrictions.
  5. To urgently develop knowledge on how best to communicate with the public about risks and safe use of public transport and movement in crowded places.
  6. In planning meetings, lectures, events, etc., it is mandatory for organizers to verify not only the density of the venue but also the risk of infection due to the density and airtightness on the routes from participants’ homes to the venue.
  7. To promote collaboration between public health, transport and supply chain experts to inform policy-makers’ decisions about lockdowns.
  8. To make use of the “new normal” after COVID-19 to encourage changes toward more environmentally sustainable life and work choices after the crisis.
  9. To prevent increased car dependence due to adverse reactions to public transport services after the pandemic.
  10. To share the learning of successes and failures in responding to COVID-19 across countries all over the world.
  11. To provide urgent international aid to compensate operators/drivers of paratransit and other informal transport services in developing countries for their economic losses due to social distancing and other operational restrictions.

Reports and other publications from the taskforce members

Publications from the WCTRS Covid-19 Task Force Members (available online)

  1. Shuang Ma#, Shuangjin Li#, and Junyi Zhang* (2021) Diverse and nonlinear influences of built environment factors on the spread of COVID-19 across townships in China at its initial stage. Nature – Scientific Reports, 11, 12415.
  2. Greg Marsden, Iain Docherty (2021) Mega-disruptions and policy change: Lessons from the mobility sector in response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. Transport Policy, 110, 86-97.
  3. Huiyu Zhou, Yacan Wang, Joseph R. Huscroft, Kailing Bai (2021) Impacts of COVID-19 and anti-pandemic policies on urban transport—an empirical study in China. Transport Policy, 110, 135-149.
  4. Werner Rothengatter, Junyi Zhang, Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Anastasiia Nosach, Kun Wang, Tae Hoon Oum (2021) Pandemic waves and the time after Covid-19 – Consequences for the transport sector, Transport Policy, 110, 225-237
  5. Zhang, J. (2021) Governance for Post-COVID-19 Carbon Reduction: A Case Study of the Transport Sector (May 23, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3851398
  6. Hongxiang Ding, Junyi Zhang* (2021) Dynamic associations between temporal behavior changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and subjective assessments of policymaking: A case study in Japan, Transport Policy, 110, 58-70.
  7. Runsen Zhang, Junyi Zhang (2021) Long-term pathways to deep decarbonization of the transport sector in the post-COVID world, Transport Policy, 110, 28-36.
  8. Junyi Zhang*, Runsen Zhang, Hongxiang Ding, Shuangjin Li, Rui Liu, Shuang Ma, Baoxin Zhai, Saori Kashima, Yoshitsugu Hayashi (2021) Effects of transport-related COVID-19 policy measures: A case study of six developed countries, Transport Policy, 110, 37-57.
  9. Adrienne, N., Budd, L., Ison, S.G., (2020) Grounded aircraft: an airfield operations perspective of the challenges of resuming flights post-COVID, Journal of Air Transport Management, 89, 101921.
  10. Budd, L., Ison, S.G., (2020) Towards Responsible Transport: A post-COVID agenda for future transport policy and practice, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, 6, 100151.
  11. Achim I. Czerny, Xiaowen Fu, Zheng Lei, Tae H. Oum (2021) Post pandemic aviation market recovery: Experience and lessons from China. Journal of Air Transport Management, 90, 101971.
  12. Dandapat, S., Bhattacharyya, K., Annam, S.K., Saysardar, K., Maitra, B. (2020) Policy Interventions for COVID 19 and their Impact on Activity and Travel in India: Present Trends and Future Implications.
  13. Dandapat, S., Bhattacharyya, K., Annam, S.K., Saysardar, K., Maitra, B. (2020) Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Travel Behaviour: Evidences from early stages of the Pandemic in India.
  14. Greg Marsden, Jillian Anable, Iain Docherty and Llinos Brown (2021) At a crossroads: Travel adaptations during Covid-19 restrictions and where next? [see the full report: here]
  15. Morita, H., Kato, H., Hayashi, Y. (2020) International Comparison of Behavior Changes with Social Distancing Policies in Response to COVID-19.
  16. Morita, H., Nakamura, S., Hayashi, Y. (2020) Changes of Urban Activities and Behaviors Due to COVID-19 in Japan.
  17. Oum, T.H., Wang. K. (2020) Socially optimal lockdown and travel restrictions for fighting communicable virus including COVID-19. Transport Policy, 96, 94–100.
  18. Ozaydin, O., Ulengin, F. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and measures as well as recommendations of policies and future research: A Report on Turkey.
  19. Qu, X., Gao, K., Li, X. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the Transport Sector and Measures as Well as Recommendations of Policies and Future Research: A Report on SIG-C1 Transport Theory and Modelling.
  20. Zhang, J., Hayashi, Y. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the Transport Sector and Measures as Well as Recommendations of Policies and Future Research: Analyses Based on a World-Wide Expert Survey.
  21. Zhou, H., Wang, Y., Huscroft, J.R. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the Transportation Sector: A Report on China.
  22. Junyi Zhang*, Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Lawrence D. Frank (2021) COVID-19 and Transport: Findings from a World-wide Expert Survey. Transport Policy, 103, 68-85 (Open Access)
  23. Shuangjin Li, Shuang Ma, and Junyi Zhang* (2021) Association of built environment attributes with the spread of COVID-19 at its initial stage in China. Sustainable Cities and Society, 67, 102752.
  24. Junyi Zhang (2021) People’s responses to the COVID-19 pandemic during its early stages and factors affecting those responses. Nature – Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, 8: 37, https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-00720-1 (Open Access)
  25. Saori Kashima*, Junyi Zhang* (2021) Temporal trends in voluntary behavioural changes during the early stages of the COVID-19 outbreak in Japan. Public Health, 192, 37-44.
  26. Junyi Zhang (2020) Transport policymaking that accounts for COVID-19 and future public health threats: A PASS approach. Transport Policy, 99, 405-418. (Open Access)

Publications from the WCTRS Covid-19 Task Force Members (not currently available online)

  1. Elbert, R., Roeper, F., Vanelslander, T., Cavallaro, F. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and measures as well as recommendations of policies and future research: A Report on SIG Chair B3 Freight Transport Operations and Intermodality.
  2. Ma, S., Li, S., Zhang, J. (2020) Impacts of Inter/Intra-City Network Structures on the Spread of COVID-19 and Spatial Differences. City Planning Review (under review: in Chinese).
  3. Nakanishi, H., Forsyth, P. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and measures as well as recommendations of policies and future research: A Report on Australia
  4. Pagliara, F. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and measures as well as recommendations of policies and future research: A Report on Italy
  5. Sharma, A., Bhaskar, A. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and measures as well as recommendations of policies and future research: A Report on SIG-C3 on Intelligent Transportation Systems
  6. Shibayama, T., Laa, B., Lessa, D.A., Zhou, H., Wang, Y., Pejdo, A., Oszter, V., Dandapat, S., Bhattacharyya, K., Corazza, M.V., Musso, A., Emberger, G. (2020) Working paper: COVID-19, public transport and measures towards sustainable transport (WCTR SIG G2)
  7. Sugawara, J. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and Measures as well as Recommendation of Policies and Future Research: A report on the United States
  8. Vanelslander, T. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the transport sector and measures as well as recommendations of policies and future research: A Report on SIGA2
  9. Velmurugan, S., Advani, M., Padma, S. (2020) Impacts of COVID-19 on the Transport Sector and Measures as well as Recommendations of Policies and Future Research: Report on India
  10. Junyi Zhang*, Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Werner Rothengatter, KE Seetha Ram, Tae Hoon Oum (2021) The COVID-19 Pandemic and Transport Policy: State of the Art and State of the Practice – Observations from the International e-Conference on Pandemics and Transport Policy (ICPT2020) –. A book by ADBI Press

What to do in this task force

The current COVID-19 pandemic is actually not the first case in our human history. However, our human society has not well learned the lessons we had experienced. Looking at deaths, the COVID-19 pandemic is the 9th most serious pandemic in history and the 3rd most serious pandemic after entering the 20th century (the first is the flu pandemic (40-50 million deaths) in 1918-1919, and the second is HIV/AIDS (25-35 million deaths) since 1981). COVID-19 has imposed a variety of impacts on human society. Unfortunately, lessons from human history have not been well learned. Historically, there are more pandemics after the 20th century than in the two centuries of the 18th and 19th centuries. After entering the 21st century, five major pandemics (SARS, Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola, and COVID-19) occurred, while there were four (Spain Flu, Asian Flu, Hong Kong Flu, and HIV/AIDS) in the 19th century. Pandemics are expected to occur repeatedly in the future. Obviously, there is a serious communication issue between the real world and academic society. Unfortunately, this is not a practical issue, but a serious surely-scientific issue. Our academic professionals have not made sufficient efforts to communicate what we know to the real world, even though this time there are more unknowns. Our task force members have tried very hard to address the following issues and make policy recommendations.

  1. (Impacts) to investigate the impacts of COVID-19 on the transport/logistics sector
  2. (Preparedness) to investigate what our society had prepared for this pandemic in the transport/logistics sector: Preparedness refers to preparations made before the occurrence of COVID-19.
  3. (During-pandemic emergent measures) to investigate what our society is currently taking measures to fight against the pandemic in the transport/logistics sector, including mutual learning/reference across countries/regions: during the pandemic, countries/regions without serious infections can prepare by learning from countries/regions with serious infections and taking countermeasures.
  4. (After-pandemic recovery measures) to suggest what our society should do in the transport/logistics sector after the pandemic by referring to historical experiences
  5. (Long-term strategies) to explore how to generalize the findings from the above actions to tackle other public health threats

Action Plan

  • Step 1) To implement a worldwide expert survey (April-May 2020)
  • Step 2) To release a full report on the above expert survey (May 2020)
  • Step 3) To release reports from major countries and about major topics (May-Sep 2020): see above
  • Step 4) Special Issue (SI) series of WCTRS official journal “Transport Policy” (Sep-Oct 2020): under review
  • Step 5) To make evidence-based policymaking recommendations: The Task Force will prepare this soon after available: to be sent to governments and international organizations for immediate use. The first sets were released in April. The second set is under preparation based on the observations from the ICPT2020.
  • Step 6) Handbook as a volume of Elsevier WCTRS Book Series: titled “Transportation Amid COVID-19 and Pandemics: Practices and Policies” (Yoshitsugu Hayashi and Junyi Zhang)

In addition, we are hosting a Database of existing international research studies which we will update.


No formal funds are available. All the task force members have participated and contributed voluntarily. Welcome suggestions on jointly applying for funds. Welcome collaborations.

Contributors of writing reports/papers to the taskforce (currently; will be updated)

  • Ana Pejdo, University of Zadar, Croatia
  • Anshuman Sharma, The University of Queensland, Australia
  • Antonio Musso, Sapienza University, Italy
  • Ashish Bhaskar, Queensland University of Technology, Australia
  • Barbara Laa, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Bhargab Maitra, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur
  • Daniela Antunes Lessa, Federal University of Ouro Preto, Brazil
  • Felix Roeper, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany
  • Francesca Pagliara, The University of Naples Federico II, Italy
  • Frederico Cavallaro, Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy
  • Fusun Ulengin, Sabanci University, Turkey
  • Guenter Emberger, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Hirokazu Kato, Nagoya University, Japan
  • Hiroyoshi Morita, Nippon Engineering Consultants Co., Ltd
  • Hitomi Nakanishi, Canberra University, Australia
  • Huiyu Zhou, Beijing Jiaotong University, China
  • Joseph R Huscroft, North Carolina A&T State University, USA
  • Junko Sugawara, University of Huston, USA
  • Junyi Zhang, Hiroshima University, Japan
  • Kaustubh Saysardar, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur
  • Kinjal Bhattacharyya, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur
  • Kun Gao, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Kun Wang, University of International Business and Economics, China
  • Lawrence D. Frank, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Lucy Budd, De Montfort University, UK
  • Maria Vittoria Corazza, Sapienza University, Italy
  • Mukti Advani, CSIR – CRRI (Central Road Research Institute), India
  • Nena Adrienne, Independent Scholar, UK
  • Ozay Ozaydin, Dogus University, Turkey
  • Peter John Forsyth, Monash University, Australia
  • Ralf Elbert, Prof., Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany
  • S. Padma, CSIR – CRRI (Central Road Research Institute), India
  • S. Velmurugan, CSIR – CRRI (Central Road Research Institute), India
  • Sai Kiran Annam, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur
  • Saori Kashima, Hiroshima University, Japan
  • Saurabh Dandapat, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur
  • Shinichiro Nakamura, Nagoya University, Japan
  • Shuang Ma, The University of Tokyo, Japan
  • Shuangjin Li, Hiroshima University, Japan
  • Stephen Ison, De Montfort University, UK
  • Tae Oum, University of British Columbia, Canada
  • Takeru Shibayama, Vienna University of Technology, Austria
  • Thierry Vanelslander, University of Antwerp, Belgium
  • Vilmos Oszter, KTI Institute for Transport Sciences, Hungary
  • Werner Rothengatter, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany
  • Xiaobo Qu, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden
  • Xiaopeng (Shaw) Li, University of South Florida
  • Yacan Wang, Beijing Jiaotong University, China
  • Yoshitsugu Hayashi, Chubu University, Japan