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  1. Travel Behaviour in the GTA:Trends & Prospects Eric J. Miller, Ph.D. Bahen-Tanenbaum Professor Interim Chair, Dept. of Civil Engineering Director, UTRAC University of Toronto Presented to the Greater Toronto Transportation Conference November 30, 2007 Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  2. Presentation Outline • This presentation discusses the relationship between urban form, travel demand and urban • sustainability. • Focus is on: • current travel trends • policy implications Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  3. Transportation Tomorrow Survey (TTS) Since 1986 a major survey of travel behaviour in the GTA (and beyond) has been undertaken at the University of Toronto, funded by all planning agencies in the survey area. With a 5% sample (135,000 households in 2001), TTS is the largest travel survey program in the world. TTS provides an unparalleled database for urban transportation research. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  4. In the GTA, as in most cities, all travel trends with respect to auto usage are in the “wrong” direction, moving towards a less sustainable system. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  5. Long-Term GTA Growth Trends GTA population, cars & daily trips all increased by about 33% from 1986 to 2001. Daily auto trips increased by 44%, and the share of auto trips increased by 10% from 72.1 to 79.1% of all trips. Transit ridership only increased by 5% and its market share declined by 28%, from 21.6 to 15.7 of daily trips. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  6. Suburban regions Suburban regions • GTA population growth has been largely occurring in lower-density suburban regions: • 38-109% in suburban regions • 11% in Toronto • 15% in Hamilton Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  7. 1996-2001 increases in: • daily trips per person • auto ownership • auto-drive mode shares • (continuation of long • term trends) Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  8. Summary: 1. More trips/person 2. More cars/household 3. More auto-driving/trip Trips growing faster than pop. Auto trips growing faster than total travel. Highest growth rates generally in suburban & fringe areas Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  9. Accessibility • Transportation affects land use and location choice • by providing accessibility to land and activities. • Several measures can be used to quantify the • concept of accessibility. These measures all are: • defined for a specific point in space • a function of the magnitude/attractiveness • of alternative locations • a function of the distance/time required to • reach these locations Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  10. Accessibility Measures The simplest measure is the number (or fraction) of jobs (other activities) with x km (or min.) of a point: Ai = å Ej jÎSx|i x i Ai = Accessibility of zone i to employment Ej = Employment in zone j Sx|i = Set of employment zones within x min of zone i Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  11. Employment Accessibility By Car, AM Peak Period Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  12. Employment Accessibility By Transit, AM Peak Period Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  13. Accessibility by Mode Given the way we have built our cities & our transportation systems, the automobile provides much higher levels of accessibility for most people for most activities. Auto-based trips dominate travel, except in special circumstances Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  14. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  15. Transit Usage • Transit usage depends upon: • Auto ownership levels • Residential densities • Employment densities • Transit service levels • Socio-economics • “Walkability” to/from transit • Local transit coverage & connectivity to/from mainline services Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  16. Auto Ownership Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  17. Population Density Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  18. 1996 Employment Density(Source: Haider, 2003) 1996 GTA Employment (Source: Haider, 2003) While many employment centres exist across the GTA, from a density perspective, the GTA is still verymonocentric. This has strong implications for transit usage. GTA Employment Distributions Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  19. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  20. Trip lengths & total auto usage vary with urban form. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  21. So too does environmental impact. 1996 Avg. Daily CO2 Emissions Per Household Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  22. … and average annual transportation costs per household Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  23. Macro vs. Micro Design “Urban form” is defined at both a “macro” level (spatial distribution of people, jobs, activities – “land use”) and the “micro” level of detailed neighbourhood design (street layouts, density, fine-grain mix of uses, etc.). Both are important in the determination of travel demand and transportation system sustainability. But, macro location effects tend to dominate micro neighbourhood design impacts. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  24. Neighbourhood Designs 1. Conventional suburban 2. Medium density 3. Neo-traditional Macro vs. Micro Design, cont’d Source: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Urban Travel: Tool for Evaluating Neighbourhood Sustainability, Prepared by IBI Group for CMHC and Natural Resources Canada, Feb. 2000 Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  25. GTA Growth & Transportation Impacts Pop. Growth Rate In a “Business as Usual” scenario with respect to GTA growth and transit system investment, auto usage is projected to grow faster than population; transit usage will grow at about half the rate of population. Pop. Growth Rate Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  26. Summary of Findings • Where we grow is critical to transportation sustainability. • Employment concentration along corridors and in nodes • critical to transit usage. • Mixed-use, neighbourhood design critical to walkability and • local transit use. • Transit investment critical to transportation sustainability, • but it must be: • combined with land use design (macro & micro) • deal with local distribution as well as long-distance • “line haul” Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  27. Three broad, inter-related “meta-issues” exist in urban transportation planning: 1. Sustainability (environmental, economic, social) 2. Efficiency (cost-effectiveness) 3. Equity (distribution of benefits & costs) Motorization/auto usage lies at the heart of each of these issues. Policy Implications Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  28. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Air Pollution Urban Sprawl Congestion Accidents Lack of Exercise Global Climate Change Respiratory & Other Diseases Loss of Farmland, Natural & Urban Habitat Loss of Productivity & Leisure Time; Stress Injuries/Deaths Productivity/Property Loss Obesity, Other Health Problems - Accessibility to Activities / Mobility + QUALITY OF LIFE Participation in Social, Recreational & Economic Activities Economic Productivity Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  29. Findings & Implications • In many respects the GTA taken as a whole is representative • of other North American cities: • increasing auto ownership • increasing person trip rates • increasing suburbanization of • population and employment • increasingly complex travel • patterns: • more non-work/school trips • more non-home-based trips • more non-peak-period • travel • declining transit mode shares Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  30. Findings & Implications, cont’d • At the same time, the GTA (City of Toronto in particular) • deviates from the North American “norm”: • Transit per capita ridership, • mode share & cost/revenue • ratios still very high by • North American standards • GO-Transit (commuter rail) • very successful in competing • for long-distance commuters • Continuing strength/vitality of • the Toronto Central Area • Overall high density & transit • orientation within the • amalgamated city is highly • supportive of transit Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  31. Findings & Implications, cont’d • Important to remember/learn from our own experience: • Coordinated land use - transportation planning • designed to emphasize transit does work • It is possible to maintain a strong, livable urban • core, which is the economic heart of an extensive • urban system • serviceable by an attractive, cost-effective • transit system • supportable without continuously expanding • road capacity Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  32. Findings & Implications, cont’d • Lessons from the Toronto experience, cont’d: • It is possible to build at higher densities without • loss of quality of life (indeed, the opposite is true) • Regional sub-centre concept works • keeps growth within the core within manageable limits • new foci for transit network development Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  33. Findings & Implications, cont’d At the same time, there is little evidence from anywhere that low density, auto-oriented, suburban sprawl generates anything other than the consumption of more land, more congestion and the “need” for even more roads. This never-ending, decentralizing spiral of development is simply not sustainable in the long run. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  34. Findings & Implications, cont’d • Elements of a sustainable transportation policy include: • transit- (and walk-) supportive urban development • promotion of non-motorized modes of travel • reinvestment in transit infrastructure & services • innovative transit services • road pricing • parking price/supply • tax reform • …. Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  35. Policies for Sustainability • None of the ideas listed on the previous slide are new. • What is required is: • The political will/leadership to undertake change. • A willingness to invest in our transportation infrastructure • Taking neighbourhood design seriously • Recognizing that change must occur “Business as usual” simply will not work in the future (it isn’t even working now) Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto

  36. ACTIVITY/ TRAVEL THANK YOU. QUESTIONS? Auto Ownership Transit Service Socio- Economics Residential Density Nbhd. Design Employment Density Road Network Accessibility Demographics ILUTE Simulation Model Urban Transportation Research & Advancement Centre University of Toronto