Cross-Cutting Issues Affecting TAC: Big data, active transportation and health, consultations, and succession planning

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A recent TAC News article introduced issues and topics that influence the work of many different Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) councils and committees.

This article touches on more topics expected to impact and influence many meeting agendas at the upcoming Spring Technical Meetings, April 19-25 in Ottawa. 

Big Data

Big data is an emerging issue, especially in urban centres. Vast amounts of data are generated that offer potential to improve transportation, allowing cities to analyze data in new and innovative ways; better understand system performance; measure changes; identify issues in real time, and better prioritize investments.

At their meetings last fall, TAC’s Chief Engineers’ Council and the Urban Transportation Council shared information about using big data for planning and operating transportation systems in urban areas, associated challenges and opportunities. The City of Toronto presented their experiences in learning and understanding the City’s transportation network performance and decision making process.                  

Active Transportation and Health

Active transportation is an important issue in Canada that encompasses planning, design and operational responsibilities. The TAC Joint Active Transportation Subcommittee provides a forum for council and committee members to discuss these topics, as well as safety of active transportation facilities.

Health status can be improved when transportation systems facilitate public and active transportation, to safely integrate physical activity into daily life. This approach can result in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and congestion, and improved productivity and sustainability. Funding is currently being sought for a project to develop guidelines for strengthening the integration between health and transportation.     

Aboriginal and Public Engagement and Consultations

In fulfilling their duty to consult and accommodate the public and First Nations, and resource decisions that could impact their interests, member agencies on various councils and committees discussed the requirements and procedural aspects of consultation related to transportation infrastructure projects. They shared experiences and practices for public engagement and more effective consultations with First Nations on projects within proximity of habitation and cultural importance.           

Succession Planning and Leadership Development

Succession planning, leadership development and the need to retain institutional knowledge are receiving extra attention in organizations across Canada due to the increasing number of professional and skilled workers approaching retirement. Work led by TAC’s Education and Human Resources Development Council involves sharing practices on developing plans to address demographic changes in the industry, attract younger workers, and prepare staff to take on leadership roles within an organization.