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Ontario Ministry of Transportation. Transportation & Climate Change. AASHTO Annual Meeting. Agenda. Profile of Ontario Ontario’s Action Plan on Climate Change Climate Change and the Transportation Sector

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Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Transportation & Climate Change

AASHTO Annual Meeting


  • Profile of Ontario

  • Ontario’s Action Plan on Climate Change

  • Climate Change and the Transportation Sector

  • Meeting the Climate Change Challenge: Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) Response to Climate Change


Profile of ontario
Profile of Ontario

  • In 2007, Ontario’s population totalled 12,794,000, representing 38.9% of Canada’s population. The Greater Toronto Area has a population of 5.5 million and is Canada’s largest city.

  • In 2007, Ontario–U.S. trade represented

    56% of Canada–U.S. trade, and Ontario accounted for 52% of Canada’sinternational trade

  • Canada-United States trade in 2007 was $576 billion (CAD). In the same year Ontario-US trade totalled $321 billion.

  • There are approximately 10.6 million registered

    vehicles, 8.9 million licensed drivers and

    85,000 bus and truck companies actively operating on our roads.


Ontario s response to climate change
Ontario’s Response to Climate Change

Climate Change Action Plan

  • The Ontario government has a responsibility to develop an emission reduction plan, and tohelp people and communities adapt to climate change.

  • In August 2007 the Ontario government released the Climate Change Action Plan detailing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets for the province of Ontario.

  • On May 27, 2009, the province introduced legislation that, if passed, would create the government authority to set up a greenhouse gas emissions trading system within Ontario.

Ontario s response to climate change1
Ontario’s Response to Climate Change

Climate Change Action Plan

The reduction targets are the following:

  • 6% below 1990 levels by 2014 (a reduction of 61 megatonnes relative to business-as-usual)

  • 15% below 1990 levels by 2020 (a reduction of 99 megatonnes relative to business-as-usual)

  • 80% below 1990 levels by 2050

  • The original Ontario Climate Change Action Plan contained over 70 individual initiatives spread across 11 ministries and 2 agencies.

Climate change and transportation
Climate Change and Transportation

The transportation sector is one of the fastest growing contributors to GHG emissions.

The transportation challenge
The Transportation Challenge

Provincial GHG reduction targets as they apply to transportation:

  • 6% below 1990 levels by 2014 means:

    • 5% from passenger vehicles and transit

    • 5% from freight sector

  • 15% below 1990 levels by 2020 means:

    • 13% from passenger vehicles and transit

    • 6% from freight sector

Meeting the Transportation Challenge

How MTO is responding to Climate Change

  • Managing Demand

  • Supply

  • Green Operations

  • Adaptation

Managing Demand & Supply

Clean Fuel/Electric Vehicles

MTO is involved in an Ontario government initiative to accelerate the consumer adoption of electric vehicles in the province that will put Ontarians into cleaner, more efficient vehicles, and expand the electric vehicle market for manufacturers.

The Ontario government aims to have one out of every 20 vehicles driven in Ontario to be electrically powered by 2020.


Managing Demand and Supply

Investing in and Supporting Transit

Since 2003, the Province has invested $8.9 billion in public transit across the province.

Since 2003, $3.7 billion has been invested in the Government of Ontario’s regional transportation system (GO Transit).

Ontario has created Metrolinx – a regional transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.


Managing Demand and Supply

The Regional Transportation Plan

The Big Move, the Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan (RTP), is a blueprint for a more sustainable transportation future in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

The Big Move sets out a 25-year plan to integrate new and existing local and regional transit.

Metrolinx estimates that full implementation of The Big Move would reduce annual GHG emissions from passenger transportation by 0.5 tonnes per person.

The Province’s MoveOntario 2020 $11.5 Billion commitment forms the foundation investment for this plan.

We are moving forward with over $9 Billion for priority transit projects identified by Metrolinx in 2009.


Managing Demand and Supply

The Big Move 25-Year Plan

PRESTO is a centrally-operated public transit e-fare system based on smart-card technology that will have the following benefits:

No line-ups for fares

Cards loaded in person, over phone, or via the internet

Automatically calculates the best fare

Protection for lost or stolen cards

Autoload sign-up

Seamless service across all transit providers

Managing Demand

Integrated Public Transit Fare Card


Managing Supply

Green Commercial Vehicle Program

MTO is helping businesses do their part to fight climate change with an enhanced program to 'green' commercial fleets.

The GCVP has the potential to reduce GHG emissions by 40,000 tonnes. This would be the equivalent to taking 8,000 cars off the road each year.

Managing supply
Managing Supply

Speed Limiter Legislation

MTO has used legislative options to combat climate change with speed limiter legislation being a recent example.

Starting January 1, 2009, most large trucks driven in Ontario are required to use electronic speed limiters that cap their speed at a maximum of 105 kilometres per hour (~65 mph).

Speed Limiters have the potential to reduce 280,000 tonnes in greenhouse gas emissions annually.

Green operations
Green Operations

Green Infrastructure


  • A North American leader recognized for its success in recycling asphalt pavements in place.


  • Accelerated Bridge Construction replaces bridges in under 24 hours.

    Air Quality

  • Adopted water borne pavement markings to reduce volatile organic compounds released into the atmosphere.

    Energy Savings

  • Retrofit of all 547 ministry owned traffic signals to LED lamps reducing energy consumption by 80%.

    Alternative Energy

  • Retrofitting of truck inspection stations and remote airports.


Green operations1
Green Operations

Ontario Public Service Vehicle Fleet

A Green Fleet Target has been set to reduce 10% of the GHG emissions from the Ontario Public Service fleet over a 5 year period, ending in 2012.

Twenty per cent of eligible new Ontario Public Sector passenger vehicle fleet purchases will be electric by 2020.

MTO maintains the Ontario Public Service vehicle fleet and is in the process of ‘greening’ the fleet.

Green operations2
Green Operations

Ongoing Initiatives

The following are some further examples of how MTO is integrating green practices into our operations.

Service Centre RedevelopmentEncouraging measures like anti-idling devices.

  • Transit Environmental Assessment (EA) Regulation

  • Developed an accelerated EA process to facilitate public transit initiatives.

  • Continental Gateway

  • The provinces of Ontario and Quebec and the Canadian federal government are developing an infrastructure strategy for a sustainable multimodal transportation system.



  • Groundwater recharge with pervious pavement structures.

    • Reduces runoff, the potential for flooding, andthe need for storm water management and treatment.

  • Good weather data is the key to unlocking the future of design changes due to climate change.

    • MTO is updating all the rainfall intensity-duration-frequency curves to reflect the latest available rainfall data. This will ensure highway drainage infrastructure will be designed based on the latest available data.

    • MTO has installed 25 rainfall gauging stations in Northern Ontario to enhance the rainfall monitoring network. This will improve the modelling of climate change impacts.


Necessary partnerships
Necessary Partnerships

Success will require the Province to form partnerships with all levels of government and learn from the experiences of other jurisdictions.


  • Aggressive new vehicle fuel efficiency standards at the federal level will be a determining factor in whether Ontario will be able to reach its transportation targets.


  • Work to develop consistent tools/methodology to effectively measure GHG emission reduction savings for MTO initiatives.


  • Municipal transportation decisions can have a significant impact on the attractiveness of alternative forms of transportation like cycling, walking and public transit.



The Government of Ontario recognizes its responsibility to show leadership on actions to fight climate change.

Through the action plan, Ontario has been laying the foundations to continue reducing GHG emissions and adapting to the effects of climate change

The province’s actions to date represent critical steps in meeting our emission reduction targets for 2014, 2020 and 2050 – and in charting the path to a low carbon future.

The Ontario government is committed to making further investments in the research, development and use of cleaner, more sustainable technologies.

This commitment will help position Ontario as a leading participant in the low carbon economy that lies ahead.