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Public Transit Short Courses

High quality public transit is the linchpin of liveable cities. Not only does it enhance mobility, accessibility, economic productivity, public health and safety in modern cities, but it also plays an instrumental role in combating serious environmental challenges at the local and global scales. However, the provision of attractive public transit continues to face numerous challenges such as low-density land use due to continuous suburbanization, deteriorating level of service due to rising road congestion and constrained financial resources, to name a few. Given the challenges facing public transit, it is essential for transit planners to acquire advanced analytical skills and knowledge to aid them in the planning of attractive and efficient public transit systems. At the same time, advanced technology such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) is playing an increasingly important role in the planning and operations of public transit, and needs to be fully integrated into internal business processes.

Course Organization

The University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, in partnership with University of Toronto Transportation Research Institute (UTTRI), is offering two back-to-back short courses designed to provide participants with knowledge on key concepts and best practices related to public transit service planning and technology. UTTRI brings together experts from engineering, economics, policy, urban geography and planning and computer science. The institute and its members are internationally renowned for high quality research in transportation from the perspectives of engineering, science and humanities.

The first course, Public Transit Planning and ITS, 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, 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 micro simulation-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.

The two short courses are designed for practising public transit professionals or those involved in the transportation and planning industry who have an interest in public transit planning and ITS. If you are new to the field and wish to have some formal exposure to the fundamentals, or if you have been practising for some time and wish to undertake a refresher and be exposed to recent state-of-the-art developments, then these short courses could form part of your professional development program.

It is expected that those involved in planning, designing and operating transit services at various levels of government will find value in the two courses. Consultants involved in traffic and public transit planning and ITS will also find the courses useful and relevant. Members of the general public with an interest in public transit are also invited to attend.

Hossam Abdelgawad
Dr. Abdelgawad has 13 years of immanent knowledge and experience with developing simulation models using a wide range of traffic software/tools. He is an Accredited Paramics User (APU) with ample experience in building, calibrating, and validating models using AIMSUN, Paramics, UAF, VISSIM, DynusT, HCS, Synchro, SimTraffic, EMME, and Dynameq.

Brendon Hemily
Brendon Hemily, Ph.D., is an independent consultant with 34 years of experience working with the transit industry in Canada and the US, having been involved in a wide range of projects related to the implementation of innovative service concepts and the effective use of advanced technology. Previously, he was Manager of Research and Technical Services at the Canadian Urban Transit Association where he worked 15 years.

Eric J. Miller
Professor Eric Miller is the inaugural director of UTTRI and a recognized expert in integrated land use transportation modelling and demand forecasting. He is the developer of GTAModel, a “best practice” regional travel demand modelling system used widely to forecast travel demand in the Greater Toronto Area. He is co-author of the textbook Urban Transportation Planning: A Decision-Oriented Approach.

Amer Shalaby
Amer Shalaby is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto with more than 20 years of research and consulting experience in Canada and internationally in the areas of transit planning and intelligent transportation systems. His research has been published widely in peer-reviewed journals and international conference proceedings. He is a member of three transit committees of the Transportation Research Board, and he sits on the editorial board of three international journals. In addition to academic research and teaching, Dr. Shalaby has led numerous transit consulting projects for a wide variety of clients in Canada and internationally, and has offered short courses on public transit planning to the professional community.

Nigel Wilson
Nigel Wilson is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT focusing on urban public transport. He directs a major long-term collaborative research program with leading global public transport agencies including Transport for London (UK), MTR (Hong Kong) and the MBTA (US) which focuses on making better use of smart card and other automatically collected data to support decision-making throughout the agency. During sabbatical leaves from MIT, Professor Wilson worked in three large transit agencies, the MBTA, Metro Transit and TfL, and has served as consultant to a number of other North American transit authorities. He taught a short course in transit planning at MIT for twenty years which had a cumulative enrollment of over 400 transit professionals.

Public Transit Planning and ITS

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
8:45-9:00am Welcome and Course Introduction
9:00-10:30am Setting the Context for Transit Planning
10:30-11:00am Coffee Break
11:00-12:30pm Transit Lines and Networks: Types and Operations
12:30-1:30 Lunch
1:30-3:00pm Fundamentals of Line Analysis and Scheduling
3:00-3:30pm Coffee Break
3:30-5:00pm Transit ITS: Developments, Challenges, Opportunities and Future Directions

Thursday, August 24, 2017
8:30-10:00am Transit Signal Priority: Architecture, Algorithms and Technologies
10:00-10:30am Coffee Break
10:30-12:00pm Transit Performance Monitoring Using ITS Data
12:00-1:00pm Lunch
1:00-2:30pm Transit Cost Modelling
2:30-2:45pm Coffee Break
2:45-4:15pm Transit Fare Policy and Collection Technology
4:15-4:30pm Closing Session: Attendance Certificate Presentation

Public Transit Modelling

Friday, August 25, 2017
8:15-8:45am Registration and Tea/Coffee
8:45-9:00am Welcome and Course Introduction
9:00-10:30am Introduction to Transit Ridership Forecasting & System Level Methods
10:30-11:00am Coffee Break
11:00-12:30pm Transit Assignment Models
12:30-1:30pm Lunch
1:30-3:00pm Route-Level Ridership Forecasting Methods
3:00-3:15pm Coffee Break
3:15-4:45pm Microsimulation Models of Transit Operations
4:45-5:00pm Closing Session: Attendance Certificate Presentation