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Dear COTA Members and Friends:

Year 2016 is the 20th anniversary of COTA. On behalf of COTA Board of Directors (BODs), I would like to thank you for your continuous support and active involvement in COTA activities along all these years.

COTA is a U.S.-registered professional non-profit organization. Established in 1996 with the former name of NACOTA, COTA dedicates efforts to promoting transportation innovations through research, education, and knowledge transfer, and to bridging the transportation professionals in China and worldwide via information exchange. Since 2000, COTA has been co-organizing the COTA International Conference for Transportation Professionals (CICTP) with prestigious universities in China every summer and promoting transportation development in China by providing knowledge and expertise through the conference and consequent communications between COTA members and their counterparts in China. The CICTP meeting attracts hundreds of paper submissions and presentations every year. It has become the most influential transportation conference in China. In conjunction with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting, COTA organizes a winter symposium to showcase the most up-to-date transportation developments in China as well as cutting-edge research and technologies in transportation. Besides the CICTP and winter symposium, COTA also launches other activities and initiatives, such as pre- and post-CICTP workshops, COTA Life Achievement Award, and COTA Best Dissertation Award. The success of COTA activities and initiatives is largely attributed to COTA members and friends, as well as our colleagues in China. I would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciations to all collaborative universities, award recipients, presenters, and participants of various COTA events.

With 20 years of effort, thanks to the contributions of many BODs, COTA has established comprehensive rules and procedures to ensure the effective and efficient operations as a professional and transparent non-profit organization. COTA Bylaws also clearly define the eligibility and rights of members, the term and election procedures of BODs, structure of COTA standing committees, etc. I was honored to be elected as the COTA President at the 2016 TRB Annual Meeting. In the next two years I will work with other BODs, with the help of past BODs and advisory board, to strengthen and expand COTA in the following aspects: 1. Build a strategic plan that will guide the direction of COTA development in long range as well as prioritize short-term goals; 2. Expand the participant base of CICTP conferences by attracting more presenters and attendees from government agencies and industry companies; 3. Enhance the functions of standing and technical committees; 4. Improve the financial sustainability of COTA. In addition, COTA will continue the process of starting a journal focusing on transportation systems. The effort will be led by Dr. Lei Zhang and conducted by a special committee formed with most of BODs and selected COTA members and friends.

In an era of rapid change, COTA faces tremendous opportunities as well as great challenges. It is fortunate that we have talented and devoted BODs: Dr. Yafeng Yin (Immediate Past President), Dr. Lei Zhang (Vice President), Dr. Jianming Ma (Vice President), Dr. Xiaokun Wang (Academic Committee Chair), Dr. Shanjiang Zhu (General Secretary), Dr. Haizhong Wang (Outreaching and Development Director), Dr. Heng Wei (Treasurer), Drs. Qian Zhen and Guohui Zhang (Communication Officers), and Mr. Ruimin Ke (Student Affair Committee Chair). We also have a large base of COTA members and friends who have been supportive by volunteering their time and intelligence. Together, we will retain the achievements of COTA and bring her to a new level of success in the near future.

Lastly, I would like to highlight the COTA activities in this coming summer:

  1. The 16th COTA International Conference of Transportation Professionals (CICTP2016), July 6-9, 2016, Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, China
  2. COTA Pre-Conference Workshop, July 6, 2016, Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai, China
  3. COTA Post-Conference Workshop, July 10-12, 2016, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

I look forward to seeing you at CICTP2016. Wish you a prosperous 2016!

Yu Zhang

Yu Zhang, Ph.D.
President, Chinese Overseas Transportation Association (COTA)

Associate Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of South Florida
Tel: (813) 974-5846