The raison d’être of CTS is to connect the individually strong research units in CTS closer to each other, and to establish closer connections between researchers and practitioners. The creation of CTS has rapidly created such connections, and we expect these to grow even stronger in the future. These connections are intended to be more than just “dissemination”: we believe that the CTS collaborations between practitioners, researchers and consultants from various backgrounds and environments is the most efficient method to communicate results out of academia and generate new, fruitful research questions into academia.
Specifically, CTS exists to achieve four things:
- Create an excellent and internationally recognised research environment. Through the existence of CTS, a larger critical mass of researchers is obtained. This facilitates access to larger research networks, cross-fertilisation between research disciplines and enhances access to research for researchers outside traditional academia. Establishing closer connections between researchers and practitioners is important also for excellence in research – this is not only a check that research is relevant, but it is an important mechanism to discover new fruitful research questions.
- Establish a meeting place for researchers and practitioners. By arranging seminars and conferences, cooperation in projects and pursuing an active dialogue, CTS is a major Swedish node for establishing links between practitioners seeking research results, and a way to communicate new questions into academic research.
- Increase the quality of decision support. CTS research is meant to be put into practical use in Swedish transport policy formulation. This is done in several ways, for example through research projects, advice in applied policy issues, engagements in governmental commissions, collaboration with public authorities and decision-makers, and independent research-based viewpoints. Moreover, some of CTS core areas are the development of methodology for transport modeling, transport appraisal and policy generation – methodology subsequently used to formulate or evaluate suggested policy measures. The existence of CTS ensures that policy questions can be put into a wider context, that more complex issues can be handled, that practioners get access to a “single point of contact”, and that research results can be put into use faster.
- Raise the long term competence level in the transport sector. CTS strives to raise the overall competence level in several ways: through various dissemination activities and collaborations, professional education, examination of PhD-students, and participation in education. CTS is important for education not least through the access to a larger pool of teachers and through the closer connections with practice.
Activities at CTS should be brilliant, relevant and visible. Brilliant means research of world-class quality, publishable in prestigious journals, representing important contributions of lasting value. To achieve this, it is important both to build on current strengths and to generate new, fertile research questions. A fruitful way to generate new research questions is to collaborate with practitioners; this has proven to stimulate the generation of new questions, and is an antidote to “ivory tower research”. It also keeps research relevant – the second keyword. “Relevant” is a memento to keep asking what the underlying “question” is – why a research project is undertaken. Finally, research needs to be visible – it needs to be conveyed to the research community through publications and conferences and to the practitioner community by seminars, reports, collaborations and lectures.
CTS research areas
CTS’ activities can be grouped into three broad and overlapping research areas:
- Travel demand modeling
- Freight modeling
- Traffic assignment and simulation and route choice
- Vehicle choice modeling
- Travellers’ behavior and attitudes
- Valuation of time, noise, emissions etc.
- Appraisal methodology
- Estimation of marginal costs and external effects
- Transport and regional economics
- Procurement and contracts
- Transport pricing
- Regulations in the transport sector
- Transport planning and organization
- Climate policy