Invitation for Bids to Host WCTR-16, in 2022

Invitation for Bids to Host WCTR-16, in 2022


The Processes of Bidding and Site Selection of the Conference Host

February 2017

Prof. Ali S Huzayyin,

Chair of the Site Selection Sub-Committee of WCTRS


WCTRS now invites bids from leading academic/research institutions, with a recognised international profile in transport research, who wish to be considered as prospective organisers of the 16th WCTR to be held in 2022.


I. Rationale and Introduction

The World Conference on Transport Research (WCTR) is the premier event of WCTRS. It is held every three years. WCTR traditionally moves around the world and is hosted by a leading academic/research institute that is well known among the world transport research community. Over the last decade the World Conferences on Transport Research (WCTRs) were held in Istanbul (2004), Berkeley (2007), Lisbon (2010), Rio de Janeiro (2013) and Shanghai (2016). WCTR-15 will be held in Mumbai (2019). These are large conferences which require considerable advance planning, organisational capabilities and sustained commitment on the part of the host institution and which should work closely with WCTRS to ensure a high quality conference.

The Steering Committee (STC) of WCTRS assigns all matters regarding selection of the Host Site (place) and host institution of the conference to a Site Selection Sub-Committee (SSSC) composed of three members. However, the decision of choosing a Host Site of a WCTR is in hand of the STC after receiving recommendations from the SSSC.

The invitation includes:

  • Section I: Rationale and Introduction
  • Section II: Notes to Bidders
  • Section III: Site Selection Criteria
  • Section IV: Timeframe of the Steps in the Process of Site Selection for WCTR-16, 2022
  • Section V: Note on the Preparation of the Bid Submission File
  • Section VI: Note on Confidentiality
  • Section VII: Method of Correspondence


 IINotes to Bidders

  1. The organisers of a WCTR should be prepared, and commit, to keep the traditions of WCTRS and the practice of running a WCTR; with the freedom to make each conference an event showing the uniqueness of the host site. Accordingly, the bidders to host a WCTR should be fully aware of the full content of the “WCTRS/WCTR Current Operating Practice 2016” (COP 2016) available on the WCTRS Website (click here), in order to be acquainted with all the responsibilities and duties of organising the conference and the traditions and practice of the society.
  2. As the WCTR is an academic research conference, bids should be submitted by a University, or a University Department, or a research institute with a recognised international profile in transport research. Bids submitted by entities different than those mentioned above (e.g., by Professional Conference Organiser (PCO), travel agent, conference tourism agency, etc.), shall be disqualified.
  3. Should a bidder wish to involve a PCO as supporting agency and, hence, be part of their team, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the Agreement of the WCTR will only be signed between WCTRS and an appropriate internationally recognised University or transport research institute as mentioned above and indicated in “Chapter 10 of the COP 2016” (click here), which shall bear all the related responsibilities in front of the society and cannot delegate those to any other supporting agency.
  4. Any bidder who submitted an unsuccessful bid to host any previous WCTR(s) is entitled to submit bid for WCTR-16, 2022. However, it should be stressed that this bid shall be treated as new submission and shall, therefore, enjoy no preference or advantage whatsoever on other submissions.
  5. Bidders should be aware of the locations of previous WCTRs (click here) in order to avoid hosting the conference in one of the previous venues.
  6. Although reference is made in this document to some particular chapters of the COP 2016; potential bidders should in all cases read carefully the whole document to get acquainted with WCTRS, its traditions and practice, and the responsibilities of organising a WCTR, before deciding to bid and writing the bid proposal.
  7. As WCTRS is always updating its practices and procedures, the COP document is subject to change over time (that is why it is called “Current” OP). The most recent version of COP is for 2016 (COP 2016). Along the progress of the process of site selection, bidders are advised to refer to the latest COP version at the time, if any. The changes to the COP document, nevertheless, are customary not in the core, they are mostly introduced to update and refine the practice over time.
  8. The Conference Management Service (CMS) used by WCTRS to manage the WCTR logistics of WCTR (e.g., paper submission, paper review, registration, etc.) must be used by the Conference Directorate (CDT), of the selected Host Site of the WCTR. Accordingly, bidders must be aware of this obligation and should consider that WCTRS will charge the cost of use of its CMS to the host CDT. This cost was $40 per registered participant for WCTR Shanghai, 2016 paid to CMS Provider. Should any change occur in the future bidders will be notified.
  9. Bidders responding to this call should formally notify by e-mail, no later than 30 March 2017, the Chair of the Site Selection Sub-Committee (SSSC) of WCTRS, Professor Ali S. Huzayyin (, with cc to WCTRS Secretariat ( their interest to submit proposals to bid for hosting WCTR-16, 2022.
  10. Answer(s) to any question(s) related to this bidding that will be received by one bidder shall be sent to all other bidders. See Section VII for correspondence method.


III. Site Selection Criteria

The Site Selection criteria adopted by the SSSC that will be strictly followed by the SSSC in the evaluation of the bids and recommending to the STC the selected site to host WCTR-16, 2022, are given in Chapter 6 of the COP 2016 (click here). However, content of this chapter and those of the current document complement each other. In Chapter 5 of the COP 2016 (click here), details of how to organise a WCTR are provided.

In this section we reiterate these Site Selection criteria and add further guiding notes that must be considered when preparing a bid;

  1. Adequate conference facilities, within a conference centre, or in a very close walking proximity, for a huge multi-stream conference involving more than 1000 participants.
  • About 30 rooms are required; 2 to 3 of about 100 seating capacity, 6 to 8 of about 75 seating capacity, 5 to 6 of about 50 seating capacity and 12 to 15 of about 20 seating capacity. This is in addition to about 8 meeting rooms of reasonable size for the WCTRS/WCTR Committees and WCTRS Secretariat.
  • Lecture theatre of 1000+ capacity for the Opening Plenary.
  • Lecture theatre of 500+ capacity for the meeting of the General Assembly of the WCTRS, and the two Closing Sessions. See “Chapter 5 of the COP 2016” (click here)for details of the Closing Sessions Protocol that the CDT should commit to follow precisely.
  • Ample space for;
    • Conference registration desk and Participants’ Secretariat to be operated by the CMS Provider. In addition to room(s) for Speakers’ Lounge(s) to prepare for the presentations, to meet Sessions Chairs, etc.
    • Poster Sessions that allows presenters and participants to move and interact freely.
    • Exhibition desks, if needed.
    • Spaces for Coffee Breaks distributed carefully near sessions’ rooms.
    • Lunch Break spaces which eliminate queuing possibilities and offer good seating, etc. In addition, lunch Menu should include possibility for special international diets.
  • If the conference is to be organised in rooms in different buildings of close proximity, the bidder should show on a map the approximate distance (km) and walking times (min) of the different buildings from the conference hub (main building). Walking time should not in any case be more than 5 min; door to door of the conference rooms devoted to sessions.
  1. Adequate quantity, quality, and price range, of accommodation in the vicinity of the conference site, including the possibility of quality dormitory, or youth hostel, rooms. Approximate distance (km) of hotels, and dormitory/youth hostels, from conference site should be indicated as follows;
  • On a map and,
  • In a tabular form by hotel category (stars) and expected price per night (Euros or US$) at the time of the conference.
  1. Sufficient and assured ‘promised’ public and/or private financial support to guarantee the viability of the conference. This means that;
  • Authorised, and signed, letters of financial support must be provided by the institutions that promise financing.
  • The organising institution, of which the proposed Chair of the CDT and the proposed CDT team belong, should commit in writing to bear the costs that fail to be covered by the promised financial support.
  1. An organisation, and sufficient individuals, to assure managerial support for the conference.
  • Authorised and signed letters of this institutional support must be provided.
  1. Prior experience of members of the proposed CDT with WCTRs and with large conferences.
  • Tabulated list of names of CDT Chair, and CDT members, active participation in organising previous large scale multi-stream conferences; by name, date and city of conference, size (number of participants) of the conference and the organisational responsibility of each person in that conference, must be precisely indicated.
  1. Sufficient national/regional WCTRS membership and interest in WCTRS to ensure good base attendance, including the capability and potential of the organisers of expanding membership in under-represented countries/regions, and how this can be achieved if the host site is selected.
  1. A site with particular interest for transportation researchers.
  • This means to demonstrate how your city is of interest to the international transport research community (e.g., the challenges faced by the transport system, how the city has been and is currently coping with those challenges and the related future plans for 2022 and beyond and innovative transport technologies and transport research carried out in your institution and in the country, etc.).
  1. A location consistent with a multi-purpose conference offering professional and technical appeal and attractive tourist tours to the conference participants.
  1. Good international transportation connections.
  • Indication of the scheduled daily direct (and connecting) flights to the host city from major parts of all continents of the world.
  • If the host city has no major airlines hub, the potential arrangements for connection to the proposed conference site should be indicated.
  1. Stability of the proposed arrangements for the conference over a three-year time horizon (2019 to 2022). This includes not only a) guaranteeing sustained financial and institutional support, but also b) ensuring the continued commitment of the host site CDT Chair and the CDT principal local team over the above time period.
  1. The host site CDT must guarantee to keep the general style and logo of WCTRS on all its “soft” and “hard” publications and correspondence material related to the conference. WCTR is a conference of the WCTRS that is jointly organised with an institution in a Host Site.
  • Though this being guaranteed, the host organisation is encouraged to develop individual elements which make the event unique.
  1. The host site CDT is to guarantee as mentioned in “Chapter 5 of the COP 2016” (click here);
  • Finance to support a number of authors of papers to attend the conference. The nominations should be agreed by the Scientific Committee of the WCTR (SCC) and the STC.
  • Finance of the WCTRS Young Prize. The nomination will be decided by the WCTRS Prize Sub-Committee and approved by the STC.
  1. The host site CDT is to guarantee fund for a half time post in support of the SCC Vice Chair Conference (SSC-VC Conference). This should start 24 months before the date of WCTR and should, therefore, be informed by the CD to the President of the WCTRS, the SCC chair and the SCC-VC Conference for approval, at least two months prior to contracting; as mentioned in “Chapter 5 of the COP 2016” (click here).
  1. The host site CDT should also commit to be in full co-operation with WCTRS President, STC, and the WCTR Secretariat and the SCC and be prepared to give regular update of activities related to the conference preparation progress to the STC and also for inclusion in WCTRS electronic dissemination material.


IV. Timeframe of the Steps in the Process of Site Selection of the Host Site of WCTR-16, 2022

 1 Invitations for bids to host WCTR-16, 2022 Feb, 2017  By SSSC Chair
2 Notification of Interest to Bid for WCTR-16, 2022 30 Mar, 2017  To SSSC Chair and WCTRS Secretariat
3 Submission* of Preliminary Bid Proposals to SSSC 15 May, 2017 To SSSC Chair and WCTRS Secretariat
4 Presentation of Preliminary Bid Proposals of the eligible bidders to the STC 21 Jul, 2017, Leeds (day to be confirmed) SSSC decides eligible bids that are compliant with main Host Site requirements and invite them to Leeds for presentation
5 Possible elimination of bidders by the STC July/August, 2017 Shortly after the Leeds meeting
6 STC & SSSC comments to remaining bidders Sept, 2017 To be sent by SSSC
7 Submission* of Final Bid Proposals 1st Dec, 2017  To SSSC Chair and WCTRS Secretariat
8 Presentation of final Bid Proposals to SSSC Jan, 2018, Washington Exact date and times (parallel to TRB) to be decided later
9 STC decision on the short listed candidates as proposed by the SSSC Jan, 2018, Washington Exact date and times (parallel to TRB) to be decided later
10  SSSC Site visits** to the short listed candidates Mar/May, 2018 Dates to be agreed between SSSC and Candidate Site Team
11 STC decides the winning bidder to host the 2022 WCTR-16 May or July, 2018 Bombay (month to be confirmed) SSSC presents full report on the most preferred candidate to the STC
12  Draft MOU to be signed with winning bidder Nov, 2018 WCTRS President to prepare the MOU based on comments of the SSSC
13 Signing the MOU with the winning bidder Jan, 2019 Washington (or shortly after) After approval of the STC in its Jan, 2019 meeting
14  Signing the Agreement to hold WCTR-16 May, 2019 Mumbai Closing Ceremony of WCTR-15

*    See Section V below.

** See Chapter 6, COP 2016 (click here) for cost & logistics of SSSC visit to short listed candidates.


V. Note on the Preparation of the Bid Submission File

Bid File Organisation and Contents

It is obligatory that all bids include the following Sections*:

  • Section 1: Introduction: on the host institution and the city of the Bid submitters.
  • Section 2: Conference Directorate: composition of the “proposed CDT of WCTR-16: naming the Chair and Members of the CDT”. The section should focus on the capabilities of the CDT chair and core Team and tabulate the proposed role of each during in preparing for the conference, etc.
  • Section 3: Capabilities of the host institution: why and how is the host institution capable of organising a huge conference like WCTR?
  • Section 4: Reason of submitting a bid: why is the submitter proposing to host the WCTR-16, 2022?
  • Section 5: Opportunity of a unique conference: Why are the host site and city capable of offering a unique conference?
  • Section 6: Satisfying the Site Selection Criteria: How does the bid respond to the site selection criteria given in Section III above, taken one by one?
  • Section 7: Business Plan of the conference: Provisional Business Plan (PBP) to be submitted with the Preliminary Bid Proposal and the Final Business Plan (FBP) to be submitted with the Final Bid Proposal after the first cycle of selection (see time frame in Section IV).
  • Appendices:
  • Formal letters of financial support and guarantees mentioned in Section III.
  • Further support letters. These must have concrete statement of promised support and not just a ‘courtesy’ type of letter.
  • CVs of CDT Chair ad Members.

* Note:

  • Bidders may include additional Sections and/or Appendices in the Bid Proposal.
  • However the above mentioned eight Sections and three Appendices are obligatory.

Bid File Format

  • Soft file in “pdf”.
  • Maximum 20 pages; A4 size.
  • Font Times New Roman; size 12.
  • Additional information to be provided in Appendices.


VI. Note on Confidentiality

WCTRS maintains a policy of transparency and openness, but recognises that in a competitive process there is a need for confidentiality. Information provided by bidders will only be made available to members of the STC of WCTRS who will respect its confidentiality. If at any stage in the process of Site Selection of the Host Site for WCTR-16, 2022, there are elements of bids which proposers may wish to keep more confidential, this should be clearly indicated to the Chair of the SSSC and the President of WCTRS. However, since decisions on site selection are to be taken by the STC, the President of WCTRS and the Chair of SSSC will normally wish to discuss such elements with proposers with the intention of allowing any decisions to be taken on a fully informed basis.


VII. Method of Correspondence*

All bid Notifications/Bid Proposals are to be addressed/submitted electronically to:

* Notes:

  1. Notifications of Interest to Submit Bids and Bid Proposals are to be sent / submitted by a Senior Member of the Host Site entity that intends to submit the proposal, who is fully paid member of the WCTRS.
  2. The same is for any question(s) related to bidding.
  3. No hard copies of Bids are requested.