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Urban Freight Research and Projects

GTHA Goods Movement Data Collection Framework

The efficient movement of goods and services in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) is essential to the region’s economic prosperity and quality of life. Governments have invested in passenger transportation data to support land use and transportation planning, they have not done so for freight transportation. Recently, agencies in the GTHA have begun to invest in the collection and application of urban goods movement data.

Metrolinx retained the Centre for Urban Freight Analysis at the University of Toronto to develop a coordinated urban goods movement data framework that supports performance measurement and modeling, with the ultimate purpose of informing urban goods movement public policy related in the GTHA. The project involved four major tasks:

  • Summarize background information on the context for urban goods movement data in the GTHA
  • Review related studies of GTHA transportation data collection requirements, and consult with stakeholders
  • Propose an urban goods movement data framework including plans for performance measurement, modelling, data collection and data management
  • Undertake preliminary implementation of the framework, including some limited data collection

Developing Urban Goods Movement Data (Technical Report)
A Plan for Urban Goods Movement Data (Summary Report)

Presentations about existing data collection as well as a discussion about data dissemination and the development of a framework, were discussed at Freight Day II Symposium. The symposium was sponsored by Metrolinx and the University of Toronto, and held on November 1st, 2012.

This work builds on the Estimating Urban Commercial Vehicle Movements in the GTHA study completed for Metrolinx by McMaster Institute of Transportation and Logistics.

Learn more about our featured project: Investigating the Potential for Truck Lanes in Urban Areas

Freight on Transit

This research project began at University of Toronto where a web-based approach was used to obtain expert assessments of the benefits, challenges and opportunities of freight on transit. Potential applications in the Greater Toronto Area were then investigated in a research project sponsored by Metrolinx’s Rob MacIsaac Innovation Fellowship.

See Best Practices.

Exploring Freight Hubs Workshop

In November 2013, a workshop was organized through the collaborative efforts of the Region of Peel, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, Transport Canada and Metrolinx to explore the concept of freight hubs in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. The workshop was attended by representatives from over 70 private sector companies, shippers, logistics operators, transportation, retailers, academics and all levels of government including senior staff from all regions around the GTHA. An effective program of expert panel presentations and interactive participant discussions was developed to educate, engage and advance the thinking of both the public and private sectors around the concept or freight hubs. The report highlights key themes and discussions that emerged through discussions.

See the Exploring Freight Hubs Report

Health Consolidation Centre Feasibility Study

Metrolinx and the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) provided a grant to the Toronto Atmospheric Fund (TAF) to examine the potential for freight consolidation in major hospitals in downtown Toronto. Consolidation of goods has the potential to reduce the number of trucks in a given area, thereby reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions. The Study reviews delivery patterns, current practices and identifies opportunities to improve efficiencies.

See the Health Consolidation Centre Feasibility Study