MITL Current Research Projects
Social Costs and Benefits of Electric Mobility in Canada
This research is being carried out by MITL and the Cross Border Institute at the University of Windsor. The research is supported by Automotive Partnership Canada and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Key industry and government partners for the project include the Ford Motor Company of Canada, the Canadian Automobile Association, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Burlington Hydro Inc. and Electric Mobility Canada. A much wider range of groups will be involved as project stakeholders.
The overall project objective is to develop a clear understanding of the wide range of economic, social and environmental costs and benefits associated with the emergence of electric mobility in Canada. Specific electric mobility research themes will include: consumer preferences, commercial and government fleets, public transit, economic impact analysis, geodemographics of electric mobility adoption, issues for utilities, location of charging infrastructure and environmental and health outcomes. Taken as a whole, this research will help prepare the automotive sector, electric utilities, government and other stakeholders for the future before it unfolds.
Children’s Exposure to Criteria Air Pollution Due to Drop-off Programs at School
MITL is working with the Ministry of Environment, Clean Air Hamilton and Corr Research to quantify students’ air pollution exposure and identify reduction strategies. This research will evaluate children’s exposure to air pollutants and will assess the pollution levels in two “get to school” situations which include vehicle drop-off and active concentrations.
Computer Modelling of Traffic and Emission Impacts of a Large, Mixed Use Development: the Case of the Prospective Burlington Innovation District
This research is being carried out in conjuction with Colliers International and the Franhoefer Institute to look at analytical approaches that will assist in the optimization of a transportation plan of the yet to be developed Burlington Innovation District (BID) in Burlington, ON. The objectives of the research include: identifying the firms that are suitable for the BID and design and develop a traffic computer simulation model to examine the traffic and environmental impacts of the BID under different scenarios.
An Appraisal of the "Complete Streets" Concept for Hamilton
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.
Metropolitan Traffic Congestion in Canada
This work is being carried out through a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council
(SSHRC) grant. In the past, academic researchers have tended to focus on metropolitan traffic
congestion issues relating to urban sprawl and urban form, the jobs-housing balance and
commuting efficiency. These efforts have been weighted primarily to economic impacts and
secondarily to environmental impacts with minimal attention paid to the underlying causes of
the Canadian congestion phenomenon. Over a five year period, this research will produce one
of the most comprehensive examinations of congestion in Canada ever taken. Congestion in
Canada will be studied in terms of how it can be measured, what causes it, what implications it
has and what policies ought to be prescribed to deal with it.
MITL Completed Research Projects
Estimating Road Link-Based Emissions for Key Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas (May 2014)
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.
Truck Freight Generators and Attractors in the Province of Ontario (2014)
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. Linked Report. Powerpoint presentation click here.
Maximizing the Potential of the Foreign Trade Zone Concept in Canada (January
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. Linked Report
Please click here to acess Dr. Mark Ferguson's January 25th speech.
Seaway Under-Utilization: Are
Regulations to Blame? (June 2012)
This report assesses the extent to which the regulatory environment can be used as an explanation
for why Seaway volumes have not reached the levels of decades past and why it has been difficult for
new Seaway services oriented towards higher value goods to gain traction. The results suggest that
non-regulatory factors such as shifts in global demand patterns and intense competition from other
modes within the region such as rail offer the most powerful explanations. Nevertheless, the report
notes that even after the elimination of the Canadian 25% duty on foreign built ships, there are still some significant regulatory barriers to be addressed. Linked Report
The North American Light Rail Experience: Insights for Hamilton (April 2012)
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. Linked Report
Hamilton Truck Route Study (March 2012)
In recent years, Hamilton, Ontario has been making modifications to its truck routes and has been
considering the implications of some proposed reductions in routes. Partially, the changes result from
the opening of the Red Hill Valley Parkway and partially they result from a desire to reduce the impacts
of trucks on certain neighbourhoods. This brief study simulates the impacts of these changes on the
movements of trucks through the city. Linked Report
Delivery Route Optimization: An LCBO Case Study (December 2011)
Exploratory work was carried out for the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) to determine if there
was potential for LCBO stores and The Beer Store (TBS) locations to be served more efficiently from the four LCBO warehouses in Ontario. Research was also motivated by the fact that the Durham
warehouse was operating very close to capacity and scenarios which assigned more stores to the
London warehouse were to be explored. Results showed that there appears to be significant
potential to develop more efficient routes. The number of routes could be fewer with trucks filled
closer to capacity. These routes would be associated with less aggregate distance travelled and
therefore less emissions. Aggregate travel time would also be reduced. The results were derived
taking traffic congestion patterns into account and detailed reports were developed which showed
step-by-step the composition and timing of each route. The analysis was done on the basis of a "typical" two week cycle and thus did not take seasonality into account. For peak periods of the year in particular, alternative routing schemes would be required to accommodate the extra volumes.
A Exploration of the Freight Village Concept and its Applicability to Ontario (October 2011)
This research was carried out for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. The
purpose of the research was to explore the concept of a freight village and
provide some high level insights on the applicability of the concept in the
province of Ontario. A freight village is an advanced form of logistics centre
where a cluster of goods movement oriented and logistics facilities are co-located and co-ordinated to achieve synergies. Key attributes include an
intermodal terminal, warehousing, manufacturing, wholesaling, logistics
services and access to shared facilities, equipment and services. Centralized
management and ownership and partnership between the public and private
sectors are also central elements. In its pure form, a freight village can
serve as an incubator for smaller logistics and related firms. Extensive
details about the concept and its relevance for Ontario can be found in the
Movements of Dangerous Goods
Across the Credit Valley Conservation Watershed (September 2011)
The movement of dangerous goods is a prominent theme
within the general area of goods movement. Large
quantities of flammable liquids and compressed gases
among other dangerous substances, move between and
within our urban areas. The safety of these movements is
of paramount concern. Nevertheless, there have been
significant incidents that have taken place over the years
resulting in loss of life and environmental damage. In order
to maximize their understanding of the current situation
and to achieve the highest level of emergency
preparedness, the Credit Valley Conservation Authority
approached MITL for research that would seek to quantify
the movements of hazardous materials across the Credit
Valley Watershed via the modes of road and rail. The
framework that was implemented to evaluate these
movements is described in detail in the linked report. The
final estimate for road movements was 8.857 million
tonnes of hazmat per year that interact with the
watershed. For rail, the corresponding estimate is 6.442million tonnes per year.
Hamilton's Rapid Transit Future: The Role of Light Rail Transit
(August 2011) [see video]
In partnership with the Rapid Transit group of the City of Hamilton, MITL created this ten minute presentation that examines Light Rail Transit in the city with an emphasis on the proposed B-Line. The presentation focuses on: how LRT in Hamilton will look, why it is important, how it can aid urban development in key areas of the city and what can be learned from other cities that have developed LRT.
Green Technology and Trucking: An Investigation of Factors Influencing Fuel Consumption Using GPS Data (February 2011)
This study explores factors such as acceleration and speed which impact fuel consumption for short-haul trucking – that is, the shipment of goods within 200 and 300 kilometers of a driver’s home terminal. The data used in this study were provided by Transcare Logistics Corporation, a member of the Carego Group of Companies. The data consisted of GPS records for all trips undertaken by two trucks operating for the corporation, freight information, and fuel information. Green Technology and Trucking Report
A Vision for Hamilton's Future (January 2011):Videos ShortVersion, Long Version
This presentation, created by the McMaster Institute for Transportation and Logistics (MITL), paints a picture of how Hamilton, Ontario, Canada is set to evolve as a successful gateway city for Southern Ontario and beyond. This video builds on a 2009 study released by MITL which can be found here: http://mitl.mcmaster.ca/research/gateway/index.html
The short version (7 minutes) found here is narrated by the Mayor of Hamilton, Bob Bratina, and has a strong focus on Hamilton's opportunity to evolve as a gateway. The long version (20 minutes) found here is narrated by Dr. Virginia Frisk also has a Hamilton focus but is designed more for educational purposes. It goes into detail about goods movement and what a gateway is. It also contains some case studies of other successful gateway cities.
Champlain Bridge-Montreal: Impacts of Disruptions to Bridge Capacity (January 2011)
MITL completed a project for the Federal Bridge Corporation which assessed the impacts of potential closures to the Champlain Bridge in Montreal. Given that the main part of Montreal is an island, the metropolitan economy is very dependent on its river crossings. Congestion in the vicinity of these crossings is already a major problem. In the event of a moderate seismic event, there is the possibility that the crossing could be closed for several years. This project studied various closure scenarios and their implications for traffic patterns and also the competitiveness of the metropolitan economy. Champlain Bridge Report
An Assessment of Hands-Free Mooring (December 2010)
MITL completed a project for the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation seeking to assess a new Hands Free Mooring technology which is being studied for rollout throughout the Seaway system. The study sought to establish base rates over recent years for negative vessel incidents in transiting locks and evaluated current tests of the new technology against those base rates. Also, a stakeholder interview process was executed to assess views on the new technology.
Estimating Urban Commercial Vehicle Movements in the GTHA (July 2010)
This project was completed for Metrolinx, the provincial transportation agency for the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area (GTHA). In this work, available data sources were integrated with a computationally intensive simulation framework to estimate, on an hourly basis, the flows of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles between over 2000 zones in the GTHA. Metrolinx Report
A Sustainable Strategy for Developing Hamilton as a Gateway (April 2009)
For MITL’s first major research project, the City of Hamilton, Ontario was evaluated for its potential to develop further as a goods movement gateway. The research featured an extensive literature review, detailed economic impact scenarios based on assumptions about gateway oriented employment growth and related traffic and emission scenarios. The central thesis of this report was that economic development and job creation need not conflict with environmental sustainability. Development of employment lands coupled with a strong urban intensification strategy and investment in public transit infrastructure is ideal for promoting economic interaction and gateway development while minimizing congestion and transport related emissions. Gateway Report
Goods Movement in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area: Modeling, Data Issues and the Development of an Establishment Survey Instrument (October 2008)
This research was carried out for Metrolinx with a view to develop improved data on Urban Commercial Vehicle Movements (UCVM) within the GTHA. A possible survey instrument was developed and a description of possible subsequent simulation modeling was provided.
MITL brings an applied research focus to solve current and future challenges in transportation and logistics and drives innovation that will sustain the industry and maximize its strength as an engine for economic growth in the future. Now that public-private partnerships are increasingly encouraged by government, MITL may be an answer to many of your R&D concerns.
MITL can be counted on to deliver analysis that is rigorous, unbiased and responsive to real and immediate business challenges. As a research resource to industry and government, MITL offers many benefits:
- Integrated expertise from a range of institutions and industry partners. McMaster alone boasts more than a dozen transportation and logistics researchers across the faculties of Science, Business and Engineering. Their links to other academic institutions provide access to the best and brightest transportation and logistics researchers in the country and create the critical mass of involvement needed to develop a world-class institute.
- A collaborative, cost-effective, R&D approach for testing new ideas and initiatives
- Access to research and best practices worldwide through MITL’s international connections with academic institutions and transportation industry leaders
- A broader vision of issues, challenges and opportunities that can only be obtained from an industry-wide, multimodal approach that studies transportation and logistics from every angle.[TOP