About Us

Statement of Purpose

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.

The exchange of information and ideas is accomplished through international, national, and local TRF meetings and by publication of professional papers related to numerous transportation topics.

The TRF encompasses all modes of transport and the entire range of disciplines relevant to transportation, including:

  • Economics
  • Marketing and Pricing
  • Financial Controls and Analysis
  • Labor and Employee Relations
  • Carrier Management
  • Organization and Planning
  • Technology and Engineering
  • Urban Transportation and Planning
  • Governmental Policy
  • Equipment Supply
  • Regulation
  • Safety
  • Environment and Energy
  • Intermodal Transportation
  • Transportation and Supply Chain Management


Local meetings

The local chapters of TRF hold regular events throughout the year including luncheon meetings and webinars.  Local chapters currently operate in Chicago, New York City and Washington DC.  TRF is seeking to establish local chapters in other cities.    For more information visit the TRF Chapters section and the events calendar.

Annual Meetings

A national meeting (an Annual Forum) has been held every year since TRF’s first meeting in 1960. Annual meetings generally last day and a half. They are held in various locations in the United States, usually in the Spring. For more information visit the Annual Forum section.


The Annual Forum combines:

  • Plenary sessions with prominent speakers from government, industry, and academia.
  • Professional and academic speakers presenting papers that have been submitted and reviewed in advance in multiple parallel sessions. Because the organization is a “Forum,” discussants are assigned to each paper and sufficient time is allotted for audience discussion.
  • Panel sessions featuring industry and government professionals discussing contemporary issues.
  • Poster sessions where authors can discuss their work with conference participants.
  • Sessions for graduate students to gain experience presenting their work, and to receive rigorous but sympathetic feedback from faculty and professionals
  • Social events to encourage networking.
  • Tours of local transportation facilities.

Each year at its annual meeting the TRF presents an award for the best overall paper and best paper by a graduate student. Recognition is also given to individuals for distinguished transportation research, professional contribution to transportation, and for service to the TRF organization.




Since 1987 the Journal of the Transportation Research Forum (JTRF) as operated as a peer-reviewed professional journal that is published three times a year.  The journal is archived and included in leading citation indices.  The journal publishes original manuscripts which are timely in scope and germane to transportation. Contributions of three types are welcomed:

  • Analytical papers that may be either empirical or theoretical research on transportation problems and issues.
  • Industry issue papers that may be descriptive in nature, addressing current issues that affect or will affect individual transportation industries.
  • Book reviews.

For more information, including the journal archive, editorial policy, and where to submit manuscripts, visit the Journal of the TRF section.