First We Take Toronto … Lessons from the TASHA Implementation and Next Steps

Invited Research Seminar at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Eric J. Miller, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Civil Engineering
Director, University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI)
Research Director, Travel Modelling Group (TMG) and Data Management Group (DMG)
University of Toronto


The TASHA (Travel/Activity Scheduler for Household Agents) agent-based microsimulation (ABM) model is now fully operational within the GTAModel V4.0 regional travel demand model system for the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area (GTHA) – a region of approximately 6.6 million people. It has been adopted as the operational travel demand forecasting system for the City of Toronto as well as the City of Mississauga and is being used daily to analyze a wide variety of major transit investment options, along with other transportation policies. The model system is implemented within the XTMF (eXtensible Travel Modelling Framework) software system developed at the University of Toronto to support the rapid, flexible development of travel demand models and supporting data preparation, analysis and display tools. In addition to providing an overview of the TASHA model design and its capabilities, this presentation focuses on four aspects of the TASHA implementation and implications for future research needs:

  • The “policy appeal” of the ABM approach.
  • The critical importance of model system computational efficiency for practical applications.
  • The policy need for advanced transit assignment methods.
  • Next steps in the on-going evolution of both GTAModel and ABM models in general, including the looming challenge of autonomous vehicles and new mobility services.