58th Transportation Research Forum Annual Conference

Chicago Skyline

Chicago, Illinois
Thursday and Friday

April 20-21, 2017

View the Program Book (PDF format)

View the program (html format) and link to individual papers in Conference Maker.  Username and Password required.  Access restricted to TRF Members.

Thank you for attending the conference.

Transportation Research Forum

Founded in 1958, the Transportation Research Forum (TRF) is an independent organization of transportation professionals. Its purpose is to provide an impartial meeting ground for carriers, shippers, government officials, consultants, university researchers, suppliers, and others seeking an exchange of information and ideas related to both passenger and freight transportation. The Forum provides pertinent and timely information to those who conduct research and those who use and benefit from research.
El Train

Why you should attend

Transportation Professionals
Informed independent debate on contemporary issues
– Networking with fellow professionals
– See the latest academic research
– Meet well-trained graduate students looking for positions

– Dissemination of the latest research
– High-quality feedback from discussants and audience members
– Network with fellow professionals

Graduate Students
NEW dedicated half-day program
– Gain experience presenting your work
– Receive rigorous but sympathetic feedback from faculty and professionals
– Special sessions on career planning
– Network with potential employers

Become a Sponsor
Read about sponsorship levels, and the benefits of sponsorship:


University of Illinois at Chicago
Student Center East building
750 South Halsted Street
Chicago, Illinois

Located in the increasingly fashionable “West Loop” area, the meeting venue is served by Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line trains (direct from O’Hare Airport) and is a short cab ride from the Loop and North Michigan Avenue business / shopping / hotel areas.
Route 66 Sign


Thursday April 20
1:00pm-4:45pm: Special half-day program for graduate students.  Parallel sessions for graduate students to present their work and receive feedback and mentoring by faculty members and professionals.  Additional panel session on career advancement advice.  Conference attendees are welcome to come and hear, and provide constructive feedback to, our young researchers.

5:00pm-7:00pm: Main conference begins.  Poster session with concurrent networking reception.  Light hors d`oeuvres and hosted beverages.

Evening dinner on your own.

7:15pm onward: Graduate Student Outing to Jaks Tap, 901 West Jackson Boulevard.

Friday April 21
8:30am-4:30pm: Full-day conference with:
– Podium sessions (speakers and discussants)
– Panel sessions
– Plenary and keynote address
– Awards luncheon.

View the program (html format) and link to individual papers in Conference Maker.

Announcing our luncheon keynote speaker, Samuel K. Skinner, United States Secretary of Transportation (1989-1991) and White House Chief of Staff under President George H.W. Bush.

7:00pm onward:  Social event and dinner ($30 additional fee) at the Cliff Dwellers Club, 200 South Michigan Avenue, 22nd floor penthouse.

Saturday April 22
10am: Optional technical tours till about noon

Tour 1.  Hubs of Mid America: Chicago Union Station and Ogilvie Transportation Center, led by Joe Schwieterman.   Free with conference registration.

Tour 2.  In The Loop:  Highlights of the Chicago Transit Authority Rapid Transit System, led by Graham Garfield, transit author and expert.  Free with conference registration

Tour 3.  Cycling Chicago:  A Divvy Ride on Downtown Bike Lanes to City Landmarks, led by Riley O’Neil, Chicago bike expert.   Modest fee involved for bike rental.




Registration is now open. 

Note that TRF Members receive a discounted registration rate equivalent to their 2017 membership plus $10. So it advantageous to become a member before registering.

Step 1.  If you are a non-member, join TRF:

Go to:


Click on membership > Join/Renew TRF

Step 2. Register for the Conference

Regular Registration (from March 18, 2017 and on site)
$230   TRF Members
$290  Non-Members (includes 2017 TRF membership)
$130   TRF Student Members
$160   Student Non-Members (includes 2017 TRF membership)

Registration fees include admission to all sessions at the main conference, and the graduate-student focused sessions on Thursday afternoon.  The fee also includes coffee breaks, the networking reception, light breakfast on Friday, and the awards luncheon. The Friday evening social event is available at an additional fee of $30.  There is no charge for the Saturday tours, but participants will be responsible for their own local transportation to and from the tours.

To register, go to:


Click on “2017 Annual Forum,” then select “Registration” from menu on right hand side.  You need to log in with your e-mail and password to access the member rates.

Registration Refund Policy

Cancellations and requests for refunds should be sent to Jolie@TRForum.org:

Until March 17:  Full refund less a $10 administrative fee
March 18 – April 3: 75% refund
On or after April 4: no refunds

Speakers who have to cancel should also inform Ian Savage at ipsavage@northwestern.edu.


Downtown Chicago has plenty of hotels of all types and at all price points.  Hotels in the Loop and North Michigan Avenue areas are a short public transit, taxi or bike-share ride to the conference venue.

The room block and special rates at a hotel close to the conference site expired on March 22, 2017.  However, you are welcome to book rooms at their regular rates:

Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro Downtown
733 West Madison Street
Telephone: 1-312-829-5000
The hotel is located 0.7 miles (15 minute walk) from the conference venue.

Information for Authors

Abstract submission is now closed.  Authors were notified regarding paper acceptance on January 3.

Papers presented in podium sessions will be assigned discussants.  For a paper to be presented in a podium session the full paper must be submitted by February 28, 2017.

If your work will be presented as a poster or as part of the half-day graduate student program, we also require submission of the full paper by March 27, 2017.

Moreover, all speakers and poster presenters must be registered for the conference by March 17, 2017 for else their paper will be dropped from the program

Link to Conference Maker to submit your full paper

  1. Log in with your username and password.
  2. Go to “My submissions,” click on ID number, and click edit
  3. Update the paper title (if necessary)
  4. In abstract section, replace your previous extended abstract by a one-paragraph abstract
  5. In Submission (paper) section you can either enter the URL of the paper on your own website or upload a PDF file (maximum size 3mb).
  6. Click “Submit”

Papers will be made available to conference participants through the conference website, but TRF will not request copyright.  Authors will be free to also submit their papers to journals including the Journal of the Transportation Research Forum.

Several prizes will be awarded to papers presented at the conference, including:
– best paper
– best paper solely authored by a student or students.

Practical Information for Podium Session Presenters

Podium papers will be presented in pairs in 60 minute sessions.   This will allow audience members to sample many different topics during the day.  Speakers will have a maximum of 20 minutes to present their work.  Discussants will then have 5 minutes leaving 5 minutes for audience questions.  Obviously you will have better feedback if you kept your presentations to 15 minutes.  We will have a host computer in the room for you to load your presentation in the break prior to your session.

Practical Information for Poster Session Presenters

We suggest that you follow the guidelines issued by the Transportation Research Board in preparing your poster:
The only difference is that you should use a visual poster and not use any computer display.  The TRB guidelines offer plenty of practical suggestions. Most importantly, do not tack individual pages of a PowerPoint presentation or a text manuscript onto a poster board.

Practical Information for Student Session Presenters

Student session papers will be presented in pairs in 60 minute sessions.   This will allow audience members to sample many different topics during the afternoon.  Our intention is that speakers will have a maximum of 20 minutes to present their work.  This will leave 10 minutes for audience questions and for feedback from faculty.  Obviously you will have better feedback if you kept your presentations to 20 minutes.


Hosted by the Chicago Chapter of TRF.

Program Co-Chairs:
Joe Schwieterman (DePaul University): jschwiet@depaul.edu
Ian Savage (Northwestern University): ipsavage@northwestern.edu