TRB 2016 Blue Ribbon Committee
16th National Transportation Planning Applications Conference

Greater Golden Horseshoe Model

Corresponding Author: Bill Davidson, Dunbar Transportation

Presented By: Peter Kucirek, WSP


The Greater Golden Horseshoe Model (GGHM) is an advanced forecasting tool developed within the last year to address the transport planning and design needs of the greater Toronto Metropolitan Region, one of the fastest growing urban areas in North America.

This new regional model contains a number of innovative features. All of the necessary data was available (2011 Transportation Travel Survey of 150,000 households, 2011 census, and thousands of highway volume counts) to develop all of the proposed recommendations. The GGHM contains a first step towards a full Activity Based Model with deployment of the framework developed for Phase I in San Diego. It includes a subset of ABM model components including a population synthesizer, auto ownership, long term location choice models and a daily activity pattern model. The transition to a trip-based framework follows the daily activity pattern model and begins with destination and mode choice, and assignment.

A major element of the model was the incorporation of capacity, crowding and reliability in both mode choice and transit trip assignment. Capacity and crowding was first implemented in Sydney. The development and application of the model was based upon an intensive literature search and a stated preference (SP) survey. The Sydney work was considerably expanded to include stop and link reliability in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles work also included an even more detailed SP survey from respondents who experience over-capacity and crowded transit conditions on a daily basis.

One of the key features of the nested logit mode choice model was the inclusion of a variable that measures the “benefit”, in the peak period, of the presence and frequency of off-peak GO Rail service. Estimation results from a stated-preference survey yielded a coefficient value that was equal to 8.2 minutes of equivalent in-vehicle time. The 8.2 minute benefit corresponded to approximately 10 minute service frequency.

The new version of the GGHM included development of three special market models, including an air passenger, visitor and special event model.

Initial applications of the model were for a region wide High-Occupancy Toll (HOT) lane study and a Metrolinx Transit System wide study.


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