2013 Transport Achievement Award: Winner Announced

New Kansai International Airport Company (NKIAC), Japan for successfully implementing strategic funding measures that have stimulated the Japanese aviation sector, notably the emergence of a new market for low-cost carriers.
​The operation of Kansai International Airport (KIX) and Osaka International Airport (ITM), two major airports in the Osaka region, were merged under the roof of NKIAC in 2012. Under this new structure, funding for a dedicated low-cost carrier terminal and strategic price incentives for off-peak take-offs and landings has helped the emergence of a new low-cost carrier market in Japan and the development of a new airfreight logistics hub at KIX, boosting airport use. The pooling of resource and cash flow have enabled innovative cross-funding, allowing government subsidies for KIX to be progressively reduced to zero. With economic viability achieved, NKIAC is preparing the sale of concessions for the operation of both airports. This will be a first for major infrastructure in Japan and is expected to set an example for other projects.

See the Press Release


In 2013, the International Transport Forum’s Transport Achievement Award will be awarded to an initiative, project, or service/product that through innovative pricing and funding arrangements addresses one or more of today’s transport focal issues – quality infrastructure or service, congestion, safety, environmental protection, enhanced accessibility.
This award is open to: transport operators, service providers, transport authorities, supplier and manufacturers (for example, of transport assets, equipment, telecoms, software, etc) within member or observer countries of the International Transport Forum. The award will be presented at the Summit in Leipzig, Germany in the presence of ministers.

The Jury had announced the shortlist of projects for the Transport Achievement Award. Four projects, including the winner, had been shortlisted as finalists from eleven semifinalists. The other three finalists were:

  • National Bank for Public Works, Mexico for its Public Transportation Federal Support Program (PROTRAM).
    • PROTRAM provides grants of up to 50% to sub-national governments to encourage the replication of sustainable transit systems across Mexico. Housed within the National Bank for Public Works (BANOBRAS), the PROTRAM’s main objectives are to provide support for mass transport infrastructure projects with high social returns and to promote institutional strengthening of local authorities in planning, regulation and management of integrated urban public transport.
  • Canton of St Gall, Department of Construction, Switzerland for their unique approach to identifying priority areas for improvements in pedestrian and cycling infrastructure.
    • ​In 2009 the Canton of St. Gall decided to prioritise the improvement of pedestrian and bicycle traffic infrastructure. Swiss communes are required to jointly plan and coordinate transport policy in an “agglomeration programme” to obtain federal funding, which is awarded in a competitive process only to the most cost-effective projects. In this context all Human-Powered Mobility (HPM) infrastructure in the Canton of St. Gall was evaluated and 5000 weak spots identified. A catalogue for typical building costs was established on the basis of comprehensive test planning, allowing planners to estimate costs for elimination of specific weak spots with the help of an e-tool ( This unique tool at the same time facilitates the targeting of funds on priorities, the implementation of specific infrastructure improvements, the management of cross-border projects and the acquisition of federal funding through demonstrable value and cost-efficiency. 
  • Compania Del Tranvia de San Sebastian (DBUS), Spain for the creation of a highly efficient public transport system that has doubled the number of trips per inhabitant per year to one of the highest user ratios in Europe.
    • San Sebastian is a city of 185,000 inhabitants in the north of Spain close to the French border. DBUS, the city’s public bus company, has been implementing an innovative collective transport system that provides 29 million trips per year. At 158 trips per inhabitant per year, San Sebastian has one of the highest user ratios in Europe and about double the average rate for similar-sized cities in Spain or France. New information technologies are making ticketing systems more user-friendly, help to plan improvements for optimal bus services and to provide accessible, reliable online information for travellers. Information technology is also used to better allocate human resources and reduce fleet fuel consumption. Savings for the city budget due to less noise, pollution and traffic congestion and fewer accidents are valued at 10.5 million Euros per year.


The seven other semifinalists are:

  • Corporacion Financiera Nacional, Ecuador for the “RENOVA” programme that through incentives encourages rejuvenation of the public transport vehicle fleet involving participation of both public and private entities.
  • City of Koblenz, Germany for introduction and operation of an urban ropeway which provided an easily accessible and alternative transport option for tourists during the period of a specific tourist event.
  • Connekt, The Netherlands for the Lean and Green programme which has recently transitioned from a government to private-sector funded incentive programme that encourages businesses to achieve ambitious reductions in carbon emissions.
  • Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality General Directorate of Istanbul Electricity, Tramway and Tunnel (IETT) for their administration of single-ticketing system used in public transport which covers the trips of nearly 20 public transport operators.
  • Rajkot Rajpath Ltd, India for the trial and then commercial implementation of a bus rapid transit system that provides an alternative, cost effective public transport option for the broader community.
  • routeRANK Ltd, Switzerland for a transport planning software solution that enables the user to best plan their trips cost effectively and in consideration of environmental aspects, thus offering a saving to its users.
  • Transport for London (TfL), UK for approach to develop and the launch of an application-programme-interface that allows access to Countdown “Live Bus Arrival” data for services across the London network.

For more information, please contact

See information on the 2012 Transport Achievement Award.

Supported by:


Young Researcher of the Year: Winner Announced



Laura Schewel (USA): “Shop ‘Till we drop: A History and Policy Analysis of Retails Goods Movement”

Laura is an advocate and a researcher in advanced transport. Her particular focus is on transport systems, sustainability and safety, as well as vehicle-system modeling and analysis. Laura completed degrees in engineering and comparative literature at Yale University and then worked at the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI), where she managed RMI’s vehicle electrification projects, including the Smart Garage Charrette and Project Get Ready. She then joined the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to develop planning for regulatory strategy for electric vehicles and energy storage. Currently. Laura is pursuing a PhD at the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, and is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in Energy Engineering. She is the author of several publications about transportation behaviours, vehicle electrification, and sustainable transportation. Recently, Laura founded and is the CEO of StreetLight Data, a firm that develops novel and powerful analytics about transportation behaviour to support urban design, transportation infrastructure design, retail and economic development.

“Shop ‘Till We Drop: A Historical and Policy Analysis of Retail Goods Movement in the US”
Young Researcher of the Year Award-winning paper by Laura Schewel

See the Press Release


The Young Researcher of the Year award aims to highlight the importance of transport research for sound transport policy and to foster closer links between transport policy and research. The award carries a prize of EUR 5 000 and  is open to young researchers under 35 years of age who have undertaken their research in an institution, university or consultancy firm located in a member country of the International Transport Forum.

The jury had announced a shortlist of three candidates for the 2013 award. The two other shortlisted were:


Laurel Paget-Seekins (USA): “Conflict over Resources for Mobility: The users, actors and discourses in Atlanta, Georgia”.

Laurel’s course as a transportation researcher was set when she moved to Atlanta, Georgia without a car and realised that transportation is the link to simultaneously address poverty, environmental degradation, and energy issues. She obtained masters degrees in City and Regional Planning and Civil Engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology specializing in public transit. She focuses on bridging engineering and social science research methods to examine increasing the sustainability of public transit investments. After graduating she did a post-doctoral fellowship on Mobility Culture in Megacities at the Technical University of Munich, Germany and is now a research fellow at the Bus Rapid Transit Centre of Excellence at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago.




Nihan Akyelken (Turkey): “A Multi-level Perspective on Transport Infrastructure Investment and Stock and Paid Employment in Turkey”.

Nihan Akyelken is a Research Fellow at the Transport Studies Unit in the School of Geography and Environment, Oxford University.  She got her doctoral degree from the same department at Oxford and her undergraduate and master degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) in the areas of Economics and Philosophy and European Political Economy.  Prior to Oxford, Nihan worked at the LSE Public Policy Group and conducted project-based consulting work in the UK. Her research interests lie at the intersection of economic and political geographies, mobilities and inclusive development.