GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Active Transportation: Non-motorized travel, including walking, cycling, roller-blading and
movements with mobility devices. The active transportation network includes sidewalks,
crosswalks, designated road lanes and off-road trails to accommodate active transportation.
Anchor Hub: Mobility hubs that have strategic importance due to their relationship with urban
growth centres (UGCs), as well as Pearson Airport and Union Station due to their roles as the
GTHA’s primary international gateways. Urban growth centres are identified in the Growth Plan for
the Greater Golden Horseshoe as focal areas for directing significant high-density employment
and population growth, major transit infrastructure, and a mix of land uses such as commercial,
recreational, cultural, entertainment, institutional and public services. As such, they contain
current or planned major regional destinations such as major institutions, employment centres,
town centres or regional shopping centres, and they have significant potential to attract and
accommodate new growth and development. Anchor Hubs have the potential to transform the
regional urban structure and act as anchors of the regional transportation system. Anchor Hubs
are identified in Schedules 1 and 2 of the RTP. (For more information see the backgrounder
“Mobility Hubs, December 2008”).
Alternative Financing and Procurement (AFP): The use of private sector involvement to design,
finance and/or build infrastructure while ensuring appropriate public control.
Arterial Road: A high-volume urban road with at least four lanes, having a typical speed limit of
50 to 60 km/hour and typical spacing between traffic signals of 200 to 400 metres. The
typical volume of an arterial road is less than 20,000 vehicles/day and it connects to collector
roads, other arterial roads and expressways.
Automated Guided Transit (AGT): A type of rapid transit that uses a fully grade-separated rightof-
way, which can be elevated or located in a segregated at-grade corridor. The complete
separation from traffic, including at intersections, allows for the use of fully automated vehicles as
well as higher service frequency, speed, capacity, reliability and service flexibility than non-grade
separated Light Rail Transit (LRT). The capacity of AGT is typically 10,000 to 25,000 passengers
per hour, peak direction. Average speed: 20 to 35 km/h with stations one to two km apart
depending on area density. Example: Vancouver Skytrain.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT): Similar to light rail transit operating predominantly in protected rights-ofway,
separate from other traffic, but using advanced bus technology. Also includes buses operating
in mixed traffic on controlled-access expressways that employ congestion management such as
tolls, thereby allowing the buses to maintain high average speeds. The capacity of BRT is typically
2,000 to 10,000 passengers per hour, peak direction. Average speed: 15 to 40 km/h depending on
station spacing, with higher speeds possible on grade-separated rights-of-way on controlled
access highways. Example: Vancouver 98B Line (Richmond section), Ottawa Transitway system.
Controlled-Access Expressway: A high-speed, high-capacity highway with at least four lanes and
grade-separated with access to the facility limited to ramps and interchanges. A controlled-access
expressway has a typical speed limit of 60 to 100 km/h with daily traffic greater than 20,000 vehicles.
Dedicated Walking or Bicycling Facility: A sidewalk, path or traffic lane that is reserved for use
by pedestrians and/or bicyclists only.
Express Rail: High-speed trains, typically electric, serving primarily longer-distance regional trips
with two-way all-day service. Regional Express service could have a capacity of 25,000 to 40,000
passengers per hour in the peak direction with trains operating in completely separated
rights-of-way, with as little as 5 minutes between trains. Average speed: 50 to 80 km/h with
stations two to five km apart. Example: Paris Region Réseau Express Regional (RER).
Gateway Hub: All mobility hubs that are not Anchor Hubs. Gateway Hubs are identified in
Schedules 1 and 2 of the RTP. (For more information see the backgrounder “Mobility Hubs,
Greater Golden Horseshoe: The geographic area designated as the Greater Golden Horseshoe
Growth Plan Area in Ontario Regulation 416/05.
Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA): The metropolitan region encompassing the City of
Toronto, the four surrounding Regional Municipalities (Durham, Halton, Peel and York) and the
City of Hamilton.
Headway: The scheduled time between successive transit vehicles on a given route.
High Occupancy Toll (HOT) Lane: On an expressway, an HOT lane is a High Occupancy Vehicle
(HOV) lane which single drivers are also allowed to use by paying a toll. Tolls can vary depending
on time of day and demand, in order to regulate the flow of traffic. HOT lanes allow for a better
utilization of HOV lanes while generating revenue. HOT lanes can also be opened to buses.
High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lane: A roadway lane designated for use only by vehicles with a
specified minimum number of occupants, usually two or three. HOV lanes can also be opened
High-Order Transit: Includes all forms of rapid transit (see definition below). The term
Higher-Order Transit is often used interchangeably.
Intelligent Transportation System (ITS): The use of real-time computer/communications/
information technology for advanced, traffic-responsive, area-wide traffic control and to provide
information which allows transportation providers to optimize transportation system operations
and enable travellers to use the system more efficiently and effectively, while also increasing their
convenience and ease of travelling.
Intensification Corridors: Intensification areas along major roads, arterials or higher-order transit
corridors that have the potential to provide a focus for higher density mixed-use development
consistent with planned transit service levels. [Source: Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure,
Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006.]
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design): A green building rating system, since
expanded to rate neighbourhood development. Buildings can qualify for four levels of
certification related to environmentally sustainable construction. Certification is granted by the
Green Building Council based on an application documenting compliance with the rating system
requirements, as well as paying registration and certification fees.
Light Rail Transit (LRT): Streetcar trains (up to three or four cars per train) operating on protected
rights-of-way adjacent to or in the medians of roadways or rail rights-of-way. Generally at-grade,
possibly with some sections operating in mixed-traffic and/or in tunnels. Electric power is normally
via an overhead trolley or pantograph. Capacity of 2,000 to 10,000 passengers per hour in the
peak direction, with higher capacities where there are significant stretches of completely
segregated rights-of-way. Average speed: 15 to 35 km/h depending on station spacing and
extent of grade separation. Examples: Calgary and Edmonton LRT systems.
Major Transit Station Areas: The area including and around any existing or planned higher-order
transit station within a settlement area, or the area including and around a major bus depot in a
urban core. Station areas generally are defined as the area within an approximate 500 metre
radius of a transit station, representing about a 10-minute walk. [Source: Ministry of Energy and
Infrastructure, Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006.]
Major Trip Generator: A facility or area which generates significant volumes of passenger and/or
Mobility Hub: Major transit station areas, as defined in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden
Horseshoe, that are particularly significant given the level of transit service that is planned for
them and the development potential around them. They are places of connectivity between
regional rapid transit services, and also places where different modes of transportation, from
walking to high-speed rail, come together seamlessly. They have, or are planned to have an
attractive, intensive concentration of employment, living, shopping and enjoyment around a
major transit station. To be identified as a mobility hub, a major transit station area must be
located at the interchange of two or more current or planned regional rapid transit lines as
identified in the RTP, and be forecasted in the RTP to have 4,500 or more combined boardings
and alightings in the morning peak period in 2031. In addition, these areas are generally
forecasted to achieve or have the potential to achieve a minimum density of approximately
10,000 people and jobs within an 800 metre radius. The primary major transit station area
associated with an urban growth centre are also identified as mobility hubs, as are Pearson Airport
and Union Station due to their roles as the GTHA’s primary international gateways. (For more
information see the backgrounder “Mobility Hubs, December 2008”).
Mobility Index: a set of indicators, derived from the goals and objectives of the RTP, developed
to gauge and monitor the progress and success of the RTP as Strategies are implemented and
investments are made. The indicators will cover a range of goals and objectives that support a
high quality of life, a thriving sustainable and protected environment, and a strong, prosperous
and competitive economy.
Modal Split: The proportion of total person trips using each of the various different modes of
transportation. The proportion using any one mode is its modal split.
Queue-Jump Lanes: Short roadway lanes provided on the approaches to signalized intersections
which allow buses or cyclists to by-pass queued traffic and enter the intersection before other
traffic when the traffic light turns green.
Rapid Transit: Transit service separated partially or completely from general vehicular traffic and
therefore able to maintain higher levels of speed, reliability and vehicle productivity than can be
achieved by transit vehicles operating in mixed traffic.
Regional Rail: Diesel-electric or electric trains serving primarily longer-distance regional trips;
approximate capacity at 10-minute headways of 5,000 to 20,000 persons per hour peak direction
(pphpd); service can be enhanced by electrification, enabling better train performance
(acceleration) and therefore higher average speeds even with relatively close station spacing.
Average speed: 30 km/h with two km station spacing; 50 km/h with wider station spacing or
electrified trains. Example: GO Transit rail system.
Regional Rapid Transit Network: The network of Express Rail, Regional Rail, Subway and Other
Rapid Transit services identified in Schedules 1 and 2 of the RTP.
Regional Transportation System: The regional rapid transit and highway network identified in
Schedules 1 and 2 of the RTP.
Settlement Areas: Urban and rural settlement areas within municipalities (such as cities, towns,
villages and hamlets) where: a) development is concentrated and which have a mix of land uses;
and b) lands have been designated in an official plan for development over the long-term
planning horizon provided for in the Provincial Policy Statement, 2005. Where there are no lands
that have been designated over the long-term, the settlement area may be no larger than the area
where development is concentrated. [Source: Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Growth Plan
for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, 2006.]
Short Sea Shipping: Port-to-port goods movement on the Great Lakes. In the RTP context, these
would likely be mainly among ports serving the GTHA or between these ports and transfer points
to/from ocean-going vessels downstream from the St. Lawrence Seaway.
Specialized Transit: A door-to-door service for passengers with special needs. Specialized transit
riders must meet specified eligibility criteria and are required to book their trips in advance.
Streetcars: Urban rail vehicles circulating at low speeds (e.g. 10 to 25 km/h) in mixed traffic, with
closely spaced stops (e.g. 200 metres). Examples exist in Toronto, Vienna, Prague and Melbourne.
Generally known as “trams” outside of North America.
Subway: High-capacity, heavy rail transit that is fully-grade separated from other traffic,
predominantly underground. Capacity in the range of 25,000 to 40,000 passengers per hour in
the peak direction, with frequency as low as 90 seconds between trains. Average speed: 25 to 50
km/h. Example: Toronto subway.
Transit Agency: One of the following public transit operators in the GTHA: GO Transit; Hamilton
Street Railway; Burlington Transit; Oakville Transit; Milton Transit; Mississauga Transit; Brampton
Transit; York Region Transit; Toronto Transit Commission or Durham Region Transit.
Transit Catchment Area: The area around each transit station that contains most origins (e.g.
home) and destinations (e.g. work or school) for transit users. The catchment area varies by the
type of transit being accessed, the means by which it is being accessed, and by the surrounding
urban fabric. For example, a downtown subway station will have a different-sized catchment area
for a pedestrian than would a suburban GO train station.
Transportation Demand Management (TDM): A program of incentives which influence whether,
when, where and how people travel, and encourage them to make more efficient use of the
Transportation System: A system comprised of corridors and rights-of-way for the movement of
people and goods, and associated transportation facilities including transit stops and stations,
cycle lanes, bus lanes, High Occupancy Vehicle lanes, rail facilities, park-and-ride lots, service
centres, rest stops, vehicle inspection stations, inter-modal terminals, harbours, and associated
facilities such as storage and maintenance [Source: Provincial Policy Statement, 2005.]
Urban Growth Centres (UGC): Centres designated in the provincial Growth Plan for the Greater
Golden Horseshoe, 2006. The Growth Plan designates 25 UGCs in the Greater Golden
Horseshoe, of which 17 are in the GTHA.