My trip to Rio de Janeiro for WCTR got off to a bumpy start with my first flight being cancelled! This resulted in a 6 hour wait at Leeds Bradford Airport and me missing my connecting flight from Heathrow to Rio. The irony of the fact that I was travelling to a transport conference and found myself in this predicament was certainly not lost on the other people in my queue at the airport! I did eventually arrive in Rio about 9 hours later than planned which gave me a couple of hours rest before going straight into day 1 of the conference. My research is examining disruption to travel, perhaps this stood me in good stead!
It’s been a busy few days seeing lots of talks and meeting new people. This has been a great opportunity to connect with fellow PhD students from around the world and learn about their research and own experiences. I also met someone I had not seen for a year and a half so it has also been a good chance to reconnect with people.
I presented my paper on the travel behaviour impacts of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympic Games in one of the last sessions of the conference. The presentation itself went well and there were a couple of questions at the end I had to tackle. The session was all about the Olympics and there were some interesting presentations included. As the next Olympics are being held in Rio it was a very topical session and there was a good debate at the end about Rio’s hosting of the Games and whether they could make it a success. As Ersilia mentioned in her earlier blog post the recent protests in the city are in part due to the concern about the financial costs of next year’s FIFA World Cup and the Olympics and Paralympics in 2016, and this was reflected in the debate.
We now have a couple of days to explore Rio and it’s transport ‘disruptions’ before heading back to the UK. Here’s to hoping the journey back will be a far less disrupted one!