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The Transport and Communications Bulletin for Asia and the Pacific is a peer-reviewed journal published once a year by the Transport Division (TD) of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The main objectives of the Bulletin are to provide a medium for the sharing of knowledge, experience, ideas, policy options and information on the development of transport infrastructure and services in the Asia-Pacific region; to stimulate policy-oriented research; and to increase awareness of transport policy issues and responses. It is hoped that the Bulletin will help to widen and deepen debate on issues of interest and concern in the transport sector.

This issue of the Bulletin is dedicated to the theme of “Combatting Congestion”. With growing motorization, most cities in Asia and the Pacific are facing tremendous challenges in coping with traffic congestion. Congestion accentuates the health and environmental impact of motor vehicles because vehicles operating in heavy traffic pollute considerably more than those operating in free-flow conditions. Congestion also exacts a heavy economic and social toll, particularly on people living in cities, in terms of wasted time and fuel costs.

As the articles in this issue describe, there are many different ways to reduce traffic congestion. Several major cities in the region have launched mass transit projects, such as the Delhi Metro in Delhi, India; TransJakarta, the first full Bus Rapid Transit system in Indonesia and Asia; and suburban metro lines in Beijing, China. Others have implemented traffic demand management policies, such as the congestion charge scheme in Singapore and car plate auctioning systems in Shanghai, China. Despite these measures, however, urban mobility continues to deteriorate in most Asian cities. This issue of the Bulletin looks at why this is so, and also suggests some possible solutions for policy-makers, particularly at the municipal level, to consider.

The Bulletin comprises of five articles:

Article 1: Smarter congestion relief in Asian cities: win-win solutions to urban transport problems – by Todd Litman

Article 2: The sustainable mobility - Congestion nexus: a co-benefits approach to finding win-win solutions – by Portugal-Pereira, J.O., Doll, C.N.H., Suwa, A., and Puppim de Oliveira, J.A.

Article 3: Urban transport systems and congestion: a case study of Indian cities – by M. Absar Alam and Faisal Ahmed

Article 4: Battling congestion in Manila: the Edsa problem – by Yves Boquet

Article 5: “Pedestrian day” experience in Thimphu, Bhutan – by Ishtiaque Ahmed and Gyambo Sithey

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