Centre for Transportation Studies

Director's message

Directors Message

Message from the Director

The Centre for Transportation Studies [CTS] is one of the oldest research centres at UBC having been started in the early 1960s with a combination of funding from the UPS Foundation and aided by grants from the Federal government in the now defunct Transportation Centres program. The Centre has a rich history of leading research in all modes of transportation, contributing to public policy debates on transportation issues at the municipal, provincial and federal level.

The Centre has also been at the heart of the Sauder undergraduate program in Transportation & Logistics (now Supply Chain Management) in providing research opportunities for students both during the semesters and in the summer as full time research assistants. The Centre will play a significant role in the new program on Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, a joint program with Copenhagen Business School and City University of Hong Kong at Shenzhen. The graduate program in logistics, also supported by the Centre, has an active array of students completing their MSc in Business and a number of PhD students over the years have developed successful careers at Canadian and international universities.

Vancouver is a natural logistics centre with significant activities in rail and shipping and an aviation gateway to North America from the Asia Pacific. CTS is considered one of the leading research centres in the world in aviation economics, management and policy with some of the most prominent contributors to the academic and policy literature among its active staff. Professors at the Sauder School who work with and through CTS also investigate issues with regard to urban transportation, rail-marine integration and the impact of changes in trade and climate change on infrastructure investment needs and challenges.

CTS is currently embarked on a major research initiative in green shipping having received a $2.5m federal SSHRC Partnership Grant which it shares with scholars at 17 other Canadian and foreign universities, and 17 partners in government and institutions around the world. This project is developing methodological papers, data bases and case studies that examine the evolution of governance initiatives aimed at reducing the environmental impact of maritime activity.

Dr David Gillen,
r & Director, Centre for Transportation Studies

Vancouver International Airport Professor of Transportation Policy & Management

Former Chair, Operations and Logistics Division, Sauder School of Busines, UBC


Ph.D., University of Toronto, Economics, 1975

Areas of interest

Industrial Organization, Corporate and Management Strategies, Competition Policy Transportation and Regulatory Economics, Aviation and Air Transport Economics, Urban transportation, Travel Demand Analysis, Choice Modeling, Application of Management Economics to Transportation Policy and Planning, Performance and Productivity Analysis, Economics of Strategy.


  • American Economics Association 
  • Canadian Economics Association 
  • German Aviation Research Society
  • Series Editor, Springer Publishers Series in Transportation Research and Policy 
  • Associate Editor Transportation Research E: Logistics & Transportation Review 
  • Editorial Board: Journal of Transport Economics & Police


  • Vancouver International Airport Chair in Transportation Policy and Management, Sauder School, UBC
  • Chair Operations & Logistics Division, Sauder School 
  • Director Centre for Transportation Studies, University of British Columbia 
  • Member, Greater Vancouver Gateway Council 
  • Reason Foundation, Los Angeles Advisory Board to Mobility Project to the Transportation Community 

Professional activity

Sometimes consultant to: City of Edmonton; Alberta Economic Development, Alberta Department of Transportation; Government of Ontario; Canadian Transport Commission; Ontario Economic Council; Economic Council of Canada; Transport Canada; National Transportation Agency; Consumer and Corporate Affairs; Treasury Board; Investment Canada; Office of Regulatory Reform; Department of Fisheries & Oceans; Restricted Trade Practices Commission; Department of Communications; Eastman Royal Commission; Canadian National Railways; Transport Development Agency; Office of the Auditor General; Federal Department of Public Works; Division of Aeronautics, California Department of Transportation; Division of New Technology, California Department of Transportation, National Academy of Sciences US), Transportation Research Board, Governments of Thailand, Ghana, Germany and UK, Hansiatic State of Hamburg (Germany), Federal Aviation Administration (US), Federal Highway Administration (US), Civil Aviation Authority (Ireland), Civil aviation Authority (UK) Air Canada, Westjet, Greater Toronto Airports Authority, Hamburg Airport, Vancouver Airport Authority, New Zealand Commerce Commission and legal firms and other private sector clients. 

Contact information

Professor David Gillen
Director, Centre for Transportation Studies
Sauder School of Business
University of British Columbia
2053 Main Mall
Vancouver BC V6T 1Z2

Phone: 604.822.8352

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    Centre for Transportation Studies
    +1 604.822.8505

    Sauder School of Business
    University of British Columbia
    2053 Main Mall
    Vancouver, B.C. Canada V6T 1Z2