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Implementation of a “Next Generation” Activity-Based Travel Demand Model: The Toronto Case


Disaggregate, activity-based travel demand models have been promoted for several decades as
being more behaviourally sound and, as a result, more policy sensitive demand forecasting tools
than conventional aggregate, trip-based, “four-step” procedures. In the past decade numerous
operational models have been implemented in a number of US metropolitan regions as well as in
Europe. This paper discusses the development and implementation within operational planning
practice of the first fully activity-based travel demand model in Canada, the GTAModel V4.0
model system for the Greater Toronto-Hamilton Area (GTHA). Based on over a decade of
research at the University of Toronto, “V4.0” has recently been used by the City of Toronto in a
major study of transit infrastructure investment strategies. It has also been adopted by the City
of Mississauga for use in future planning studies.
The paper discusses the advantages of the disaggregate activity-based approach to travel demand
modelling. It then provides a concise overview of the key features and procedures of the V4.0
model system, as well as a detailed bibliography of more detailed documentation of the model
system. The paper then discusses the operational implementation of the model system and
briefly describes the on-going first application of the implemented model system in the analysis
of major rail transit investment alternatives for the City of Toronto. The paper concludes with a
few “lessons learned” that may be useful for other Canadian urban regions considering the
evolution to activity-based model system formulations for their operational use.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Travel Demand Modelling and Traffic Simulation
Miller, E.J.
Vaughan, J.
King, D.
Austin, M.
Transportation planning