• 21 Jul, 2017
  • Reports, Transportation

Project Description

The research has clearly shown that the even the most exceptional of metropolitan innovation ecosystems suffer from rather mundane transportation problems. Intra-metropolitan highway corridors in such metros are some of the busiest and most congested seen anywhere. The 50- 75km driving commute from the heart of San Francisco to the campuses of Silicon Valley can easily take two or three hours on a bad day. While most big metros have transportation problems, many of these metros have given rise to, or have enabled, transportation innovations of recent years and decades. These include electronic tolling, HOV and HOT lanes, modern inter-city bus services, high-speed rail, suburban bus rapid transit systems, advanced commuter rail systems and regional rapid transit, managed lanes and expressways and others. Many of the largest and most successful feature considerable transportation diversity: there can be multiple transit systems in place (e.g. heavy, light, and commuter rail and others). When the likes of ridesharing, taxis or short term car rentals are taken into account, there can be multiple transport providers also. These transport alternatives are important to help minimize automobile dependence, including on inter-city corridors.

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  • 21 Jul, 2017
  • Reports, Transportation

Project Description

At a high level, the purpose of the current report is to use available empirical data to test out key scenarios that were raised in the companion report. More specifically, a joint model of commuting and mode choice for an area that encompasses the Greater Golden Horseshoe region is constructed for the purposes of this report. Details involved in the process of devising and building the model are described and then the end-product is used to run scenarios which focus on the corridor between Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto. Scenarios focus on the possible impacts of high occupancy vehicle/toll (HOV/HOT) lanes and on a potential express rail service. The focus of this report is something of a niche topic in the realm of commuting behaviour – not much has been written about innovation corridors of lengths 75 to 150km. The overall idea of the modelling and scenario effort is to build a model that reflects the current preferences and behaviours of commuters in the region and which is capable to estimate results based on testing these behaviours and preferences when new modal options for travel are made available.

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  • 27 Sep, 2016
  • Reports, Environmental, Transportation

Project Description

Drop-off programs at schools are becoming more common with school boards because of the potential reduction in vehicle and student collisions compared to a disorganized school drop-off. Across North America, the number of students who are driven to school in a personal vehicle has been rising for the past five decades, with no foreseeable change in this behaviour. A drop-off program, where parents must line-up their cars and idle, is one that is very organized; however our research has identified that this potential increased safety measure is creating potentially hazardous air quality conditions. Air pollution health effect studies’ methods and technologies are continually evolving. We have demonstrated a further refinement of air pollution exposure science that incorporates the activity patterns of people into the process of measuring exposure. Our research sets the foundation for a technique to calculate personal exposure without personal monitoring units.

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  • 09 May, 2016
  • Reports, Urban Land Use, Transportation

Project Description

For rapid transit to have a meaningful impact on shaping travel patterns in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region, new and existing rapid transit infrastructure projects must be integrated with land use planning to promote transit-oriented development (TOD). However, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to TOD in the GGH. With more than 400 rapid transit stations either in existence or in various stages of planning, there is considerable diversity in station area contexts throughout the region. The present project develops and applies an innovative planning tool that distils station area characteristics into a typology of similar station types. From this, we benchmark TOD in the GGH, contrast performance with planning and policy, and perform a more detailed study of the Hamilton A-Line and B-Line LRT. View the Summary Report and the Full Report below.

Summary Report

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  • 31 Aug, 2015
  • Urban Land Use, Transportation, Reports

Project Description

While traffic congestion is a regular dinner-table conversation, media topic, and features centrally into discussions of transportation policy formation, newer data sources are only beginning to be integrated into policymaking circles as means to explore, track, and shape transportation system performance. This report represents one element of a larger study on using “Big Data” – in this case from Inrix, Inc. – to study road transportation system performance in the City of Toronto, focusing on the metric of travel speed. This study integrates data and model results from several sources to identify the slowest and fastest single days in 2014(January 1 through December 31)and portions of 2011(August 8 through December 31)and 2013 (July 1 through December 31). Only the freeways are analyzed for 2011 and 2013 while the freeway and arterial networks are each assessed independently for 2014 to focus the analysis on those system components which are best tracked by the available data for each year. Results suggest four major findings when focusing on mean daily travel speeds of “typical days.” First, weekend speeds are higher than weekday speeds. Freeway speeds are on average 7 to 10 kilometers per hour faster during weekdays than during the week. Second, most of the very slowest days of the year can be explicitly matched to snow and rain events. Third, those weekdays with atypically fast mean travel speeds are on holidays. Finally, daily travel conditions are much less stable during winter months than during summer months. This appears to be due to the joint impacts of the previous two factors: holidays (on which speeds are higher) and extreme weather events (during which speeds are lower). In sum, although severe incidents which trigger broader gridlock may severely impact the experiences of many downstream system users, the most pronounced patterns in daily freeway travel conditions stem from factors which are largely outside of the purview of policymaking: holidays, weekends, and weather.

The overall study was conducted in three parts: Congested Days: The first phase identified that the single most congested days occurred on days during which there was snow or rain. While this is in many ways expected, these results illustrate the role of weather in travel conditions and demonstrate the utility of these approaches when analyzing Big Data for performance monitoring.

City Congestion Trends: The second phase estimated changes in traffic congestion over the three year period from 2011 to 2014 by looking at annual, monthly, daily and hourly variations in performance metrics, including speed, delay, and unreliability. The study found that congestion did materially grow from 2011 to 2014, but the growth was uneven and congestion was in fact lower in 2013.

Corridor Report Cards: The final phase included a set of corridor report cards for 36 corridors across the City. Corridor report cards provided comparable snapshots of changes in performance between 2011 and 2014, hourly speed profiles for typical days of the week, and measures of unreliability. Results identified uneven changes in congestion over time among City roadways and expressways.
Reports:
Congested Days in Toronto
Congestion Trends in the City of Toronto (2011-2014)

Report Cards:
McMaster Institute for Transportation & Logistics (MITL) Report Card Memo
City of Toronto - Highways
City of Toronto - Major Arterials
MTO - Highways

 


  • 31 May, 2015
  • Urban Land Use, Transportation, Reports

Project Description

There has been a lot of interest in recent years in "livable communities" which tend to be less auto- oriented than their low density, car dependent suburban counterparts. The "complete streets" concept has become very much associated with livable communities from the point of view of accessibility and equally accommodating the walking, cycling and transit modes as well as automobiles. The purpose of the proposed research is to assess the performance of complete street implementations in other jurisdictions, critically review what has been written on complete street concepts, and assess the applicability of the complete street concept in Hamilton with a view to how this approach might improve the vitality of certain key neighborhoods.

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  • 30 Apr, 2014
  • Environmental, Transportation, Reports

Project Description

This research is being carried out for Environment Canada and seeks to provide emissions estimates associated with all metropolitan road links in the CMAs covered. An Integrated Urban Modelling Framework is used where trips originating from and arriving in each small census area are estimated for each hour of the day. These trips are assigned to the road network using an advanced assignment algorithm and an appropriate environmental module is employed to estimate emissions associated with the traffic levels on each road link. Something similar is done for light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles and public transit vehicles. Variations by day and by month are taken into account to provide a complete picture for a full year.

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  • 28 Feb, 2014
  • Logistics, Transportation, Reports

Project Description

This work is being carried out in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation as a follow up to a study that examined some of the more internationally-oriented freight generators in the Province. The purpose here is use available data sources to accurately screen out a large number of second-tier freight generators scattered throughout regions of the province and to perform a round of survey work to gather further details about each generator.

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  • 31 Dec, 2012
  • Logistics, Reports

Project Description

This research examined the array of programs in Canada that seek to provide similar benefits to the more singular U.S. FTZ program. It has also examined the dilemma of not using a true zone concept in a world that is used to FTZs as zones with defined spatial boundaries. As well as the U.S. case , some examples from around the world are evaluated. The report concludes that some geographical reframing of the FTZ concept is required and that there are some important marketing issues to be considered as well. Finally, it suggests that the disparate FTZ-oriented programs in Canada need to be brought more into line with one another.

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  • 31 Mar, 2012
  • Urban Land Use, Transportation, Reports

Project Description

This study examines thirty cities in North America that have already developed light rail systems and with varying levels of success. The main objective of the work is to determine the main underlying factors which have contributed to the outcomes experienced in terms of ridership and the extent of transit oriented development. The implications for a future Hamilton LRT are discussed.

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  • Partner:

    City of Hamilton

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