Events

Jul
23
Tue
The Design and Empirical Evaluation of the Core-Satellite Framework for Urban Passenger Data Collection – Patrick Loa @ Sandford Fleming Building, ITS Lab and Testbed, Room SF3103
Jul 23 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

Join us for Patrick Loa’s MASc thesis presentation, “The Design and Empirical Evaluation of the Core-Satellite Framework for Urban Passenger Data Collection.” All are welcome.

Abstract

For decades, landline-based household travel surveys have played a vital role in the understanding and forecasting of passenger travel behaviour. Primarily due to technological changes, this approach is producing increasingly insufficient data. The continued application of this data collection paradigm typically leads to two key issues.

The first issue is the inability of travel surveys that rely on computer-assisted telephone interviews (CATI) to produce results that are adequately representative of the target population. This issue is reflected in the age distribution of survey respondents, which tends to differ from that of the target population. Specifically, younger members of the population tend to be underrepresented in household travel surveys, while older persons tend to be overrepresented.

The second issue stems from the data requirements of contemporary approaches to analyzing and modelling passenger travel behaviour. While travel demand analysis has traditionally utilized revealed preference data, newer approaches include the use of attitudinal, stated preference, and passive data. It is difficult to collect these types of data through traditional data collection paradigm, as increasing the length of a questionnaire can adversely impact completion rates.

These issues require the modernization of the traditional data collection paradigm. This thesis builds on the work of Goulias et al. (2011), who proposed a “core-satellite” framework for passenger travel data collection. This framework is a modernized version of the traditional approach to data collection, wherein passive data and smaller, more targeted travel surveys (“satellite surveys”) to both complement and supplements the data obtained through traditional household travel surveys. This thesis will define each component of the proposed data collection framework and provide guidelines for the design of the small-sample surveys. Also, this thesis proposes approaches to ensure that the different types of data collected using the proposed framework are compatible with one another.

The value of the two newer components of the data collection framework, namely the satellite surveys and passive data, is demonstrated through two empirical applications. The first uses data obtained through the StudentMoveTO survey, which collected travel diaries and other information from students attending one of Toronto’s four universities. This study investigated the factors that influence the location choices of university students who use public transit to participate in discretionary activities to understand the determinants of the accessibility of said students. The empirical model that was estimated for this purpose was also used to derive utility-based measures of accessibility, which were compared to count-based measures of accessibility. The second empirical application combined zonal transit trip generation values obtained from the Transportation Tomorrow Survey with trip data provided by Uber, via the City of Toronto. This study investigated the impacts of zone-level transit, socio-economic, and land use attributes on the level of Uber and public transit usage in each zone. The findings of both empirical works were used to inform policy recommendations.

Longitudinal change of transit accessibility: A case study of the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area – Albert Lo @ Sandford Fleming Building, ITS Lab and Testbed, Room SF3103
Jul 23 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Join us for Albert Lo’s MASc thesis presentation, “Longitudinal change of transit accessibility: A case study of the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.” All are welcome.

Abstract

Land use and transportation (LUT) policies have a lasting impact on the sustainability and livability of cities. Therefore, LUT policies should be examined on a longitudinal scale to assess the long-term effects on travel behaviour.  Specifically, this thesis considers trends from 2001 to 2016 of transit accessibility and transit-oriented developments (TOD) of the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area on a micro and macro level.

Most of the data used to support the analysis come from the Transportation Tomorrow Survey and are augmented by the census and other sources.

At a disaggregate level, location choice models are developed to estimate person accessibility. Different segments exhibit different behaviour, but generally, people living in TODs are more sensitive to transit-walk-access wait time than non-TOD dwellers.

Finally, several regression models are developed to determine the effect of the considered transit variables on the number of household transit trips.

It is found that the effect of transit accessibility and TOD has increased over time in a positive manner. These results show that these policies regarding transit have consequences not only in the short-term and that past LUT policies should be considered for future policy.

Jul
25
Thu
Lee, Roorda: July 25 Future of Urban Mobility Seminar @ Room BA 2139, Bahen Centre for Information Technology
Jul 25 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
image and text

July 25, 3-5 p.m.

Two presentations from two speakers, followed by Q&A and discussion.

“Delivering ‘last-mile’ solutions: A feasibility analysis of microhubs and cyclelogistics in the GTHA” – Janelle Lee, Analyst, Transportation and Urban Solutions, Pembina Institute

seated in atrium

Janelle Lee

Many businesses are rethinking their delivery operations to keep up with increasing demand for goods movement while mitigating the negative impacts of freight activity in dense urban areas. This presentation focuses on two delivery models that are increasingly being integrated into goods movement activity in North America to increase delivery efficiency in urban centres: microhubs and cyclelogistics. In the Pembina Institute’s latest report, Delivering Last-Mile Solutions, we investigate the feasibility of these delivery models in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. We find that microhubs and cyclelogistics have the potential to reduce delivery costs for businesses and mitigate freight emissions.

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“Case studies in ‘last-mile’ logistics in the Toronto area” – Professor Matthew Roorda

photo of Professor Matthew Roorda

Prof. Matthew Roorda

This presentation describes new methods for last-mile delivery and their application in Toronto.

The challenges of last-mile delivery in Toronto, a variety of potential solutions, and the latest on-going pilot studies will be described.

Partnerships between the University of Toronto, government agencies and several major retail and logistics firms will be presented.

The presentation will conclude by engaging in a discussion about the future of freight mobility.

 


About The Future of Urban Mobility Seminar Series

Seminars take place every other Thursday 3:00-5:00 p.m., location and speakers TBC.

For the first time in history, the majority of people live in urban settings. Cities are the engines of economic growth, but are plagued with challenges relating to resource allocation, constrained government spending, ecosystem protection, creating migrant and youth opportunities, social inequities, labour market changes and infrastructure aging. Thrown into this arena, emerging technologies such as automated and connected vehicles, ride-hailing services, Mobility-as-a-Service platforms, and micro-transit are threatening rapid changes to our mobility systems. The academic and policy debates are rife with visions of new mobility utopias, where technology drives improvements in efficiency, CO2 emissions, and social inclusion. Also prominent are visions of mobility dystopias, where private vehicles control more of the public realm, mobility benefits are concentrated among the wealthy, and labour standards are eroded. Cities now face the massive challenge of evaluating the potential benefits, costs, and unintended consequences of integrating a heterogeneous mix of promising technologies with existing transportation infrastructure and mobility services. In light of this uncertainty, it is imperative that we conduct evidence-based research to guide transportation policy to achieve the many positive promises of emerging technologies, while ameliorating the inherent risks in technology-induced disruption.  The Future of Urban Mobility seminar series will provide the U of T community a space to engage on these topics and explore research opportunities with the Mobilities Cluster at the School of Cities.

The Future of Urban Mobility seminar series is presented by UTTRI and the University of Toronto School of Cities in partnership.

School of Cities U of T crest
Jul
26
Fri
Complex Questions for the Study of Urban Agglomerations – Khalil Martin @ Sandford Fleming Building, ITS Lab and Testbed, Room SF3103
Jul 26 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join us for Khalil Martin’s MASc thesis presentation, “Complex Questions for the Study of Urban Agglomerations.” All are welcome.

Abstract

Why do cities exist? Which is more conducive to grow: specialization or diversity? Are successful human societies more cooperative or more competitive? In what way do economies evolve?

This thesis presentation reexamines the ontologies commonly used to study urban agglomerations and sketches a new framework for answering some complex problems posed of them.

It takes the view of the city as, simultaneously:

  1. a social reactor,
  2. an information processing super-network, and
  3. a dynamic semi-lattice of associations.

It places the benefits of proximity, not only in how it reduces the cost of transporting goods, people, and ideas, but also how it allows principle-agent monitoring, subconscious synergizing processes, and spontaneous changes in social and economic association.

It introduces the familiar concept of adaptive capability and proposes an emphasis on this concept over the concept of dynamic externalities found in much of the literature. While the latter considers the firm to be the primary unit of analysis in the study of urban agglomerations, the former places the city itself as primary – with its interrelated institutions, cultures and material conditions – facilitating the spontaneous association and re-association of dynamic, heterogeneous individuals.

Khalil Martin poses outside

Khalil Martin

Khalil Martin is a student, under the supervision of Professor Eric J. Miller, of urban environments, entering the Transportation Engineering + Planning MASc program with experience in Business Planning for the creation of the Union Pearson Express, Construction Management for TTC Second Exit and Easier Access projects, and Transportation Demand Modelling for the consultancy IBI Group. The breadth of his reading surpasses the breadth of his work experiences. In his learning, he seeks to find intuitive handles for understanding and managing complex systems.

Aug
7
Wed
Saxe, Denning: Aug. 7 Future of Urban Mobility seminar @ MY 440, Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Aug 7 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
image and text

Wednesday, August 7, 3-5 p.m.

Two presentations from two speakers.

“Rethinking the impacts of transport infrastructure  – a holistic life cycle approach” – Professor Shoshanna Saxe

head shot of Shoshanna Saxe

Professor Shoshanna Saxe

This presentation will discuss the holistic impacts of transportation infrastructure. As the skeletal structure of civil society. transportation infrastructure influences how we live, work and move; it is also a massive consumer of primary energy and materials. Transportation infrastructure have long lifetimes; its impacts are durable and persistent, adding complexity to impact assessment. The presentation will discuss how a holistic conceptualization of transport infrastructure can change our perceptions of value, about what should and shouldn’t be built, and the power of transport infrastructure to shape the future of mobility.

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“Economics Focus within the Sustainability Triad” – William Denning, Walmer Consulting, Toronto

The presentation will discuss how partial equilibrium microeconomic analysis (economic cost-benefit analysis, ECBA) is used to assist in designing, evaluating, and deciding on transport investments and policies.  Distinctions will be made between ECBA and macroeconomic approaches (such as GDP impacts), or financial approaches (financial cost-benefit analysis), or multi-criteria approaches.  The relevance of partial equilibrium methods will be compared to full equilibrium and the necessity for analysis of true alternatives (alternatives in route, technology, and service).   The importance of robust, network-based, travel demand estimates is emphasized.  Topics such as the role of land use scenarios in preparing demand estimates and land value capture will be mentioned.

smiling pose in front of map

William Denning

William Denning is a qualified and knowledgeable transport economist and human geographer with over 30 years of professional experience. He has a strong background in all aspects of transport and spatial policy formulation, advisory and strategy development, economics, and project evaluation.  He recently completed the draft Efficiency Companion Report for the Sustainable Mobility for All Consortium’s Global Roadmap of Action.  He managed the Transportation Economics Office for the Ontario Ministry of Transportation before retiring from the government earlier this year.  William worked for several years on international transport economics assignments for the World Bank and Canadian Pacific Consulting Services.  He supervised the Market Research and Planning unit of GO Transit and was posted to Malaysia as a Canadian Trade Commissioner.  William has a BA (Honours) in Geography and Economics from the University of Toronto and an MA in Regional Science (spatial economics) from the University of Pennsylvania.


About The Future of Urban Mobility Seminar Series

For the first time in history, the majority of people live in urban settings. Cities are the engines of economic growth, but are plagued with challenges relating to resource allocation, constrained government spending, ecosystem protection, creating migrant and youth opportunities, social inequities, labour market changes and infrastructure aging. Thrown into this arena, emerging technologies such as automated and connected vehicles, ride-hailing services, Mobility-as-a-Service platforms, and micro-transit are threatening rapid changes to our mobility systems. The academic and policy debates are rife with visions of new mobility utopias, where technology drives improvements in efficiency, CO2 emissions, and social inclusion. Also prominent are visions of mobility dystopias, where private vehicles control more of the public realm, mobility benefits are concentrated among the wealthy, and labour standards are eroded. Cities now face the massive challenge of evaluating the potential benefits, costs, and unintended consequences of integrating a heterogeneous mix of promising technologies with existing transportation infrastructure and mobility services. In light of this uncertainty, it is imperative that we conduct evidence-based research to guide transportation policy to achieve the many positive promises of emerging technologies, while ameliorating the inherent risks in technology-induced disruption.  The Future of Urban Mobility seminar series will provide the U of T community a space to engage on these topics and explore research opportunities with the Mobilities Cluster at the School of Cities.

The Future of Urban Mobility seminar series is presented by UTTRI and the University of Toronto School of Cities in partnership.

School of Cities U of T crest
Aug
21
Wed
Two Short Courses on Public Transit 2019 @ University of Toronto, Galbraith Building, Room GB202
Aug 21 @ 8:00 am – Aug 23 @ 5:00 pm

The University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute offers two back-to-back courses designed to provide participants with knowledge of key concepts and best practices related to public transit service planning and technology.

The first course, Public Transit Planning & ITS (August 21-22), provides an overview of key concepts and best practices related to transit planning, network and service design, service standards, transit and land use, and the application of ITS technologies.

The second course, Public Transit Modelling  (August 23), provides a complementary but more focused and advanced exploration of tools that can be used for forecasting demand at both the system and route levels, transit assignment, and microsimulation-based analysis. The courses will be taught by leading transit planning researchers and practitioners and will provide a balanced perspective on transit systems planning and ITS, including both state-of-the-art techniques and practical perspectives.

Course descriptions, schedules and registration instructions:

Email for more information or telephone (416) 978-4175.

Subscribe here for short course notices

For direct email notices about short courses: Subscribe here to the Public Transit Short Courses list.

Sep
19
Thu
Air and Odor Management Conference and Technology Showcase @ University of Toronto
Sep 19 – Sep 20 all-day

Conference information against photo of Toronto skyline

Air Pollution in the Cloud: Transformative Sensing and Data Mining for Cleaner Air

Join over 200 attendees, including top scientists and industry leaders, for the 2019 Air & Odor Management Conference (AOMCTS). This year, AOMCTS will bring together members of the scientific community, government, industry, and non-governmental organizations, all of whom are pushing the boundaries of air quality and odor science and addressing their impacts on society under the theme “Air pollution in the cloud: Transformative sensing and data mining for cleaner air”.

Call for abstracts

Submit abstracts online until May 31, 2019 in these topic areas:

• Air and odor exposure • Air quality data mining • Artificial Intelligence • Community science • Dispersion modelling • Emerging pollutants • Indoor air quality • Industrial air pollution • Innovative monitoring systems • Odor impact assessment • Policy and legislation • Public engagement • Remediation and abatement • Technology for Smart Cities.

Registration

Register now to attend the conference, being held at the beautiful University of Toronto for the first time.

Sponsorship and showcase opportunities

Please contact Mr. Hesam (Sam) Kashani, Business Development Manager, Scentroid. E: hesam.k@scentroid.com, T: +1 416.479.0078 x 208.

Conference organizers

Conference Chair Dr. Ardevan Bakhtari is a specialist in instrumentation with extensive background in the environment, nuclear, and medical industries. He has a PhD in instrumentation from Faculty of Engineering, University of Toronto. He has been involved in numerous international projects focusing on industrial odour impact assessment and regulations. Dr. Bakhtari is the founder of Scentroid, the world leader in odour measurement and air sensing equipment.

Conference Co-Chair Dr. Marianne Hatzopoulou is a Canada Research Chair in Transportation and Air Quality and Associate Professor in the Civil and Mineral Engineering Department, University of Toronto. She leads the Transportation and Air Quality (TRAQ) research group with expertise in modelling road transport emissions and urban air quality as well as evaluating population exposure to air pollution.